Groups held protest near PICC; seeks suspension on canvassing of votes

Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (BAYAN) Secretary Gen. Renato Reyes speaking during the protest near PICC

Groups gathered in protest on Friday, May 17, near the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) in Pasay City, where the Commission on Elections (COMELEC), as the National Board of Canvassers, tallies the votes of the 2019 mid-term elections.

During the afternoon Black Friday Protest, the demonstrators said that they will file a petition to suspend the canvassing of votes due to various anomalies in the May 13 elections.

They questioned the seven-hour period when the COMELEC transparency server stopped sending partial and unofficial election results to watchdogs, and the more than 900 SD cards used in vote-counting machines that malfunctioned amidst the polls.

The groups also accused President Rodrigo Duterte of using his position to ensure that pro-Administration senatorial candidates will win in the elections.

GABRIELA Partylist Rep. Arlene Brosas, Alliance of Concerned Teachers Partylist Rep. Frances De Castro, and Kabataan Partylist Rep. Sarah Elago, and Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (BAYAN) Secretary Gen. Renato Reyes joined the demonstration.

Senatorial candidates Neri Colmenares and Leody De Guzman also attended the protest.

Police intensified security in Cultural Center of the Philippines Complex, where the PICC is located, after, earlier that day, another group protesters gathered in the area to condemn alleged cases of electoral fraud during the recent elections.

Authorities closed from vehicle traffic a portion of Jalandoni St. from World Trade Center and the portion of Vicente Sotto St. from the corner of Sofitel Hotel due to the rallies.

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