#LabanBayan, protests against election manipulation


MORE THAN 2,000 protested last May 17 in front of the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) where tallying for the 2019 midterm elections was undertaken. The youth, women, church people and various groups led by Kontra Daya and Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) collectively condemned the manipulation of and violence during the elections.

On the evening of May 13, election day, the release of initial vote tally by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) was delayed for seven hours. Also, 1,665 SD cards malfunctioned and had to to be replaced on the day itself. Similarly, 961 vote counting machines malfunctioned and were unable to accept ballots.

Duterte’s clique, the military and police blatantly intervened in the election that was conducted. Days before the election, progressive parties and their members were attacked one after another and tagged as terorrists. The worst cases of harassment were perpetrated in Mindanao under martial law.

Similar protests were held in the cities of Quezon, Baguio, Naga and Tacloban, and in the provinces of La Union, Bohol and Iloilo. Before this, two protests were launched by national democratic groups in Metro Manila.

12TH MANGYAN DAY. Seven Mangyan tribes gathered in Calapan, Mindoro Oriental last May 10 to celebrate Mangyan Day 2019. On its 12th year, the tribes united under the theme “Mangyan, Unite for Ancestral Land, Environment, Livelihood and Clean Elections!”

The Mangyans presented their struggles for their livelihood, ancestral land, and against militarization and violence of armed state elements against them. On May 9, the delegation from Bongabong were blocked by three police cars. The celebration culminated with a protest-caravan.

PICKET AGAINST CRPIP. Igorot minorities trooped in front of the National Economic and Development Regional Office in Baguio City last May 7. The protest was held in conjuction with the conduct of a meeting between minorities affected by the Chico River Pump Irrigation Project (CRPIP), representatives of the National Irrigation Administration (NIA) and the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP).

A few days later, NCIP Cordillera Director Ronald Calde ruled to temporarily stop the construction of the CRPIP in Pinukpuk, Kalinga for failing to acquire Free, Prior and Informed Consent from affected residents. The construction was shifted to the Cagayan area.

NATIONAL DAY OF HEALTH WORKERS. Last May 7, health workers from private and public hospitals gathered in Manila to celebrate the National Day of Health Workers. The Alliance of Health Workers called for the implementation of a ₱16,000 national minimum wage for public employees, ₱750 daily wage for private employees and ₱30,000 entry pay for nurses. They also demanded an end to prevalent practice of contractualization in the sector.

#LabanBayan, protests against election manipulation