Just three brave females not holding back.
Netizens have been all over veteran journalists Karen Davila, Mel Tiangco, and Vicky Morales as they voiced out their sentiments against faulty vote-counting machines (VCMs), non-extension of voting hours, and other anomalies that happened during the May 9 elections.
In a TV Patrol interview with Commission on Elections (Comelec) commissioner George Garcia on the same day, Davila questioned the polling body’s non-extension of voting hours on election day, no holds barred.
“Ano ba ang kakailanganin para ang Comelec en banc ay mag-desisyon na i-extend. Dalawang oras lang naman po ang hinihingi. And mind you, iba’t ibang kandidato na ang na i-extend nang dalawang oras,” Davila said.
The broadcast journalist also stressed that it’s neither the voters nor the pandemic’s fault why many people weren’t able to cast their votes on time.
“And mind you, Commissioner. Hindi kasalanan ng pandemya kung bakit nagka-ganito ang pila. Ang mga VCM machine po, apat na oras nakatayo ang mga tao sa linya para bumoto. Paano naging kasalanan ng tao ‘yun? At paano naging kasalanan ng pandemya ‘yun? What will it take to change the Comelec en banc’s mind,” Davila said.
Davila also took to social media to empathize with voters who experienced election-related anomalies, saying Comelec needs to be “held accountable.”
If voters are DISENFRANCHISED because they don’t make the 7pm cut-off, hindi na ito kasalanan ng mga botante o nang pandemya.— Karen Davila (@iamkarendavila) May 9, 2022
The Comelec should made accountable. The Filipino people deserve vote counting machines that work. #Halalan2022
“The Comelec must answer for so many reports of vote-counting machines that have broken down. This is not Smartmatic’s first run. There is no excuse. What gives,” Davila said.
On the other hand, Tiangco didn’t hold herself back from speaking up about malfunctioning VCMs and other election-related anomalies with reporter Tina Panganiban-Perez in an episode of GMA-7’s 24 Oras.
“Bago ang eleksyon, nagkaroon tayo ng malawakang eksamen diyan sa bawat mga VCM na yan para maiwasan precisely ang ganitong mga kaganapan para sa ikaganda ng ating pagtingin o ang ating pagtiwala sa magaganap na botohon. Ano ba ang kinulang at hindi nakamit iyon,” Tiangco said.
Tiangco added that Comelec assured voters that VCMs would work smoothly on election day. “There has got to be a very good reason na sasabihin ng Comelec kung bakit nagka-ganyan. Kanina pang umaga, VCM nang VCM ang mga problems."
In a separate interview, Tiangco traded barbs with Bongbong Marcos Jr.’s chief of staff and spokesperson Vic Rodriguez as he spoke about the dictator’s son leading the partial and unofficial polls.
yes, THIS WAS MEL TIANGCO SPITTING FACTS AND TELLING ATTY VIC RODRIGUEZ THAT VP LENI ROBREDO IS MORE QUALIFIED TO BE THE NEXT PRESIDENT INSTEAD OF BBM. Atty Rodriguez keeps declining the question. He kept calling BBM "President" and look at Mel Tiangco and Atom Araullo 😬🥴 pic.twitter.com/Krj3h7thae— ً📚 | wtf ph? (@SIMP4JIS00) May 10, 2022
“Napag-usapan po ninyo ‘yung galing at talento, kitang-kita naman po ng marami ‘yung galing at talento ng ating Vice President, Leni Robredo,” Tiangco said. Rodriguez, however, asked the journalist to shift the topic to Marcos Jr.’s wide lead instead.
Meanwhile, Morales couldn’t help herself from speaking up about Marcos Jr.’s wide lead over his rivals in an interview with University of the Philippines (U.P.) political science professor Ranjit Rye.
Vicky Morales spitting facts about the election in Philippines pic.twitter.com/4mdQsC2Hkv— peng (@peynochio) May 9, 2022
“Basically, this election has written the way elections are won in this country. Hindi na kailangan maglatag ng plataporma sa mga debate, hindi kailangan mag-grant ng interview. Kailangan mo lang siguro ng tanyag na apelyido, solid ang machinery mo and social media, and long history in politics,” Morales said.
Of course, netizens had a lot to say about Davila, Tiangco, and Morales’ explosive statements on social media.
Vicky Morales' facial reaction, Mel Tiangco and Karen Davila showing their frustrations towards Comelec re reported malfunctioning of VCMs on election day. #Halalan2022 #ExtendVotingHoursPH pic.twitter.com/wC2xY1Eqsa— SpotlightWorld (@Spotlight_World) May 9, 2022
It's like Jessica Soho, Karen Davila, Mel Tiangco and Vicky Morales all reporting a SAD NEWS. Look here, kitang-kita ang kalungkutan. ☹️ pic.twitter.com/uvgCCiIPtm— 🌸leonor.rivera🌸 (@itsleonorrivera) May 9, 2022
Karen Davila screaming at COMELEC Comm Garcia. Asking how it is people’s fault that they were in line, some for ever 4 hours, that VCMs did not work. And why COMELEC En Banc hasn’t extended voting.— Austine #LeniKiko2022 (@austinedal1) May 9, 2022
Comm Garcia suddenly saying they’re still deciding.#Election2022PH
You know COMELEC really fckd up when respected & award-winning journalists like Mel Tiangco, Vicky Morales, Karen Davila & Jessica Soho loses their 'chill' on National TV 🙃 pic.twitter.com/wFwMwtECw0— ziah (@enha_pinkk) May 10, 2022
Twitter user @heyyovirgo agreed with Tiangco’s pointed statement about faulty VCMs. “Comelec says there’s no assurance daw talaga na walang magiging aberya dahil 12 years na ang mga machines and yet… Why are they only saying it now - Ms. Mel Tiangco.”
If you are watching 24 oras right now, nagagalit na po si Ms.Mel Tiangco. Tama nga naman kasi matagal na panahon ang binigay sa COMELEC para suriin at i-testing ang mga VCM para magkaroon ng malinis na botohan pero bakit ganito karami ang aberya #VoteReportPH— Virgo (@heyyovirgo) May 9, 2022
@theglentot, meanwhile, said Davila and Tiangco “spoke out what's in everyone's minds.”
Mel Tiangco and Karen Davila spoke out what's in everyone's minds. THE FRUSTRATION WITH COMELEC IS REAL.— Glentot #Chubs4Leni (@theglentot) May 9, 2022
Twitter user @SIMP4JIS00 praised Davila, Tiangco, and Morales, along with veteran journalists Jessica Soho and Pia Hontiveros-Pagkalinawan for “standing firm” with their election coverage.
I'm personally thanking and praising Ms. Jessica Soho, Ms. Vicky Morales, Ms. Mel Tiangco, Ms. Karen Davila, and Ms. Pia Hontiveros for expressing what each and every Filipino is feeling rn— ً📚 | wtf ph? (@SIMP4JIS00) May 10, 2022
thank you for questioning those unreasonable happenings and for standing firm. kudos! pic.twitter.com/ROUTPcZYtF
According to a report by Philstar.com, some voters still waited four hours after polling precincts were scheduled to close on election day because of defective VCMs.
Comelec spokesperson John Rex Laudiangco, however, assured the public that it would face allegations of anomalies should there be any complaints before the Supreme Court or the Presidential Electoral Tribunal.
“We are willing and ready. Pag kami ay na-subpoena ng Supreme Court or mga Presidential Electoral Tribunal, kahit man Senate Electoral Tribunal or House of Representatives Electoral Tribunals, ang Komisyon ng Halalan po ay tumatalima,” Laudiangco said.