On May 10, 2010, the Philippines will hold its first automated election for national and local positions including president, vice-president, senator, party list, house representative, governor, vice-governor, provincial board member, mayor, vice-mayor, and councilor.
This year, 50 million Filipinos are anticipated to vote, including the registered OFWs (Overseas Filipino Workers) scattered around the world. They will be voting in Philippine embassies in their host countries.
This election is crucial as issues of corruption continue to hound the present administration and it is this same issue that some presidential candidates promise they would put an end to once elected into office. Despite being called "the only Christian nation in Asia", the Philippines is now considered as one of the most corrupt countries around the world and one of the dangerous places for journalists.
This election is also interesting because an evangelist and pastor of one of the biggest Christian churches in the Philippines, Bro. Eddie Villanueva, is running for president. He also ran in 2004 but lost in an election that was marred by cheating as implied in the "Hello Garci" scandal. "Hello Garci" refers to the alleged wiretapped conversation about votes rigging between then sitting President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and Comelec Commissioner Virgilio Garcellano.
As the election approaches, let us pray for the following:
- That the Filipino voters will seek and listen to God's direction regarding whom to vote and that they will vote according to their enlightened conscience and not be swayed merely by surveys or popular opinion.
- That the PCOS (Precinct Count Optical Scan) machines which will be used for the counting, transmittal, and canvassing of election results will function normally.
- That there will be no power outages during the elections and tranmittal of election returns. These past few months, parts of Metro Manila and Mindanao have been affected by brownouts.
- That the voting public will be properly educated as to the new automated electoral process.
- That any form of cheating will be thwarted.
- That the candidates who were chosen by God and duly elected by the people will be proclaimed as winners by June 30, 2010.
For more information on the forthcoming election, visit www.comelec.gov.ph.