MANILA, Philippines- Commission on Elections (Comelec) spokesperson James Jimenez has issued a statement after photos of highlighted election ballots circulated on social media.
A photo of the supposed ballot showing names of Liberal party bets Manuel “Mar” Roxas II and Ma. Leonor “Leni” Robredo highlighted quickly earned the ire of netizens after it went viral online.
On Monday April 11, Jimenez denied that such ballots came from Comelec. He stressed that these are apparently sample ballots.
In his interview with MANILA BULLETIN, he said: “Isn’t common sense that if your campaign is producing a sample ballot for your candidate it is expected that you will highlight your candidate? We’ve seen it many times in the past. Sample ballots wherein the name of the candidate has a big font size or the name of the candidate having a different color. Others even underscore the name.”
Furthermore, Jimenez explained that official ballots can only be obtained from the Board of Election Inspectors (BEI).
“Comelec does not come out with sample ballots like that. Comelec comes out with official ballots and you can get this only from the BEI (Board of Election Inspectors),” Jimenez said.
A certain Frank Resma residing in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia has also dispelled reports about highlighted ballots. According to him, there is no truth to these rumors claiming he had seen the actual ballots.
He wrote on Facebook: “I’ve seen the ballot at wala po o hindi po shaded ng dilaw ang ballot ng kandidato.”
Roxas, Robredo Allowed to Use “Daang Matuwid” in the Official Ballot
Former Comelec commisioner Gregorio Larrazabal has questioned the agency as to why Roxas and Robredo were allowed to use the phrase “Daang Matuwid” in their names in the official ballot for the upcoming national elections this May, reports Manila Bulletin.
In his Twitter account, Larrazabal emphasized that a campaign slogan is not a nickname and can’t be used by two different candidates.
Meanwhile, Comelec spokesperson Jimenez said that it’s the candidate’s right to indicate in their COC their preferred nickname.