NCCP on the May 9, 2022 elections: Remain Critical and Vigilant

Quezon City, Philippines – The National Council of Churches in the Philippines (NCCP) raised its concern today over the reports of widespread malfunctioning of vote-counting machines and SD cards, massive disenfranchisement, and delayed opening of polling places, red-tagging, election-related violence, and other issues that marred our national elections. This was expressed by NCCP General Secretary Bishop Reuel Norman O. Marigza regarding yesterday’s polls. “The fact that people lined up early, and patiently, some for more than 4 hours while waiting for their turn to vote and yet were not able to because of glitches that could have been prevented should be reason enough to condemn COMELEC’s ineptitude,” Bishop Marigza stated.

“COMELEC and Smartmatic made false assurances that the vote-counting machines (VCMs) were fine and ready. They failed to deliver an orderly and trustworthy electoral exercise. These issues have been raised before in previous elections, unfortunately, they seem to have fallen on deaf ears as the situation worsened. These issues are creating distrust among our people, especially those who desire meaningful change and good governance. Electoral reforms are a must, and Smartmatic has to go” the church leader said.

“Regardless of the final outcome, we must always remain critical and vigilant and not let massive bureaucratic corruption and human rights violations remain unaccounted for, whether in the present context under the outgoing administration or in the not-so-distant past like the martial law years,” Bishop Marigza emphasized.

“The NCCP has always been consistent in its stand, that the elections may not bring about desired changes because it is still a contest primarily of the elite. What is important is that in season or out of season, the people’s journey towards SHALOM must continue – where justice, peace, and human rights prevail. Let us continue to pray, act and hold fast in protecting our rights and democracy,” Bishop Marigza concluded.

The NCCP is the largest aggrupation of mainline Protestant and non-Roman Catholic churches in the Philippines.