The Jessica Soho Presidential Interviews

A very good way to know our candidates and a preview to how future presidential debates will go.

#FactsFirstPH: For 2022 elections, how will you fight for the truth?

At 10 am on Wednesday, January 26, Rappler and more than 100 other media and civil society groups will come together and take a stand to protect the facts. Be part of this movement.

MANILA, Philippines – Who will you vote for if you don’t have the facts? How many times have you been attacked online because you challenged a lie?

You are not alone.

“Without facts, you can’t have truth,” said Nobel laureate and Rappler CEO Maria Ressa, who is spearheading a new coalition. “Without truth, you can’t have trust. Without trust, we have no shared reality, and no democracy.”

To protect our elections and our democracy, we need to protect the facts.

Join more than 100 groups, coalitions, media, civil society organizations, business groups, the Church, research groups, and legal organizations that are working together around a first-of-its-kind initiative called #FactsFirstPH.

#FactsFirstPH brings together various sectors that are committed to promoting truth in the public space and exacting accountability from those who harm it with lies.

At 10 am on Wednesday, January 26, Rappler and more than 100 other media and civil society groups, along with technology partners Google News Initiative and Meedan, will come together to take a stand and protect the facts.

You can do something now!

Bring your superpower in our nation’s “Avengers, Assemble” moment. The goal: to make truth spread faster and further than lies and hate. This collective effort is the first of its kind, a four-layer approach, to help restore the integrity of our elections, and give you the information to choose the leaders you want on May 9.

To learn more about how you can be part of this movement, join #FactsFirstPH’s virtual event at 10 am on Wednesday by registering here.

Be part of this movement. –



Ballot printing for BARMM polls starts

MANILA, Philippines — The National Printing Office (NPO) yesterday started printing 2.5 million ballots that will be used in the upcoming automated elections in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).

James Jimenez, spokesman for the Commission on Elections (Comelec), gave updates on the progress of the ballot printing.

“The printing of ballots for the manual local absentee voting (LAV) and overseas voting (OV) have been completed,” Jimenez said.


The NPO started the ballot printing – estimated at 60,000 for the LAV and 79,000 for the OV – last week.

“The printing of the automated election system ballots for the BARMM was set to start today at the National Printing Office. Printing will start with the ballots for Lanao del Sur numbering at 685,643. The total number of BARMM ballots to be printed is 2,588,193,” Jimenez said yesterday.


The poll body will print a total of 67,442,714 official ballots for the May 9 general elections.

Meanwhile, Comelec Commissioner Rowena Guanzon advised government agencies and local government units to apply for exemptions from a ban on construction of public infrastructure and disbursement of public funds before the election ban takes effect on March 25.

Guanzon issued the advice to LGUs and agency heads on social media yesterday.


“Governors, mayors and national agency heads can file for Comelec exemption from the ban on project implementation and cash disbursements due to the pandemic,” she posted on Twitter.

Comelec Resolution 10747 prohibits the release, disbursement or expenditure of public funds as well as construction and delivery of materials for public infrastructure from March 25 to May 8.

Violation of the ban constitutes an election offense, which carries a penalty of imprisonment from one to six years.



Watchdogs to candidates: Don’t snub 2022 election debates

(1st UPDATE) Kontra Daya convenor Danilo Arao says one’s refusal to join public debates would mean that a candidate is ‘unprepared to face public scrutiny which is inherent in public service’

Election watchdogs agreed that candidates’ failure to attend the presidential and vice presidential debates for the 2022 polls would reflect poorly on them.

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has no power under the Fair Election Act to compel candidates to attend the debates it organizes, leading netizens to speculate if some of the 2022 presidential and vice presidential aspirants would choose to skip the events.

Rappler sought the reactions of the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV), Legal Network for Truthful Elections (Lente), and Kontra Daya – groups which have constantly monitored elections in the Philippines – on the matter.

They all believe that snubbing the 2022 debates would not reflect well on the candidates.

“Their absence would continually be mentioned,” said Arwin Serrano, PPCRV’s director for voter education. “If there would be questions that were raised concerning them, they cannot answer and have the opportunity to respond.”

Kontra Daya convenor Danilo Arao said candidates who would exclude themselves from the debates are apparently wary of “making fools of themselves in front of the public.”

“They are unprepared to face public scrutiny which is inherent in public service. They should not be taken seriously therefore as their campaign promises remain empty rhetoric,” Arao told Rappler.

Lente executive director Ona Caritos said that the “less talk, less mistakes” strategy that is prevalent among candidates during the campaign season strips voters of their right to understand the platforms of election aspirants.

“If a candidate chooses not to attend in political debates, this will reflect their unwillingness to participate in subjecting themselves in critical discussions about their candidacy,” Caritos told Rappler.

“The refusal of the political candidates is a considered deprivation of the public from knowing the extent of their campaign since their candidacy will always be a matter of general public and national interest,” she added.


For PPCRV chief technology officer William Yu, the debates provide a venue for the public to see candidates, each equipped with their programs of action, on one stage.

“All candidates can make their platforms and thoughts known in an apples-to-apples basis,” Yu said. “The debate is a venue for legitimate information…live!”

Lente’s Caritos said digging deeper into the candidates’ platforms becomes more crucial in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“As the usual physical campaign activities would be strictly regulated, participation in these debates would ensure that the voting public would still have another platform for access to information about these candidates’ plans and programs,” she said.

Kontra Daya’s Arao also argued that the public should not expect any less from politicians seeking the country’s top posts.

“If students are required to defend their works in front of their classmates and teachers, candidates should be able to explain their promises to the electorate under intense scrutiny from the moderators and their opponents,” Arao said.

PPCRV’s Serrano also noted that candidates stand to benefit from the debates.

“This is free mileage for the candidates covered widely by media,” Serrano said. “Lots of voters depend on their performance in those debates [and how they answer] various topics that are close to their hearts and advocacies.”

Some analysts believe that the Comelec’s presidential debates in 2016 – the first since 1992 – were a game-changer, and in particular, gave a boost to the presidential campaign of then-Davao city mayor Rodrigo Duterte.

In one of the debates, he had promised to take a jet ski to the West Philippine Sea and plant a flag on one of the disputed islands, to address the maritime row between the Philippines and China.

It was a rhetoric that dominated news cycles, after the debate attracted large audiences, but it was also a campaign promise that remained unfulfilled to this day.


Debates start in February

Despite debate attendance being completely voluntary, the Comelec said candidates should not snub them.

“Presidential and vice presidential candidates should commit, to the public whose votes they seek, that they will participate in the #PiliPinasDebates2022,” Comelec spokesman James Jimenez said on Twitter on Saturday, January 22.

The “back-to-back” presidential and vice presidential debates will take place over a period of three months beginning February, Jimenez told CNN Philippines in a separate interview on Tuesday.

“We have to secure a memorandum of understanding with the candidates so they will agree to the rules of the debate,” he said.

The poll body said in the past that the debate setup will be “hybrid,” with candidates attending physically and the audience watching virtually.–


PPCRV urges youth, delisted voters to register for 2022 polls

MANILA – An election watchdog on Saturday urged anew Filipinos to register to be able to vote in the May 2022 national and local elections.

Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV) national vice chairman Bro. Johnny Cardenas made the call with only 47 days to go before the Sept. 30 deadline of the nationwide voter registration by the Commission on Elections (Comelec).

He believed that it is vital for every Filipino to actively participate in next year’s polls and specifically called on 18-year-old youths and those removed from the voter list to register.

“We call on those who have not yet registered, the deadline set for us to have the opportunity to register is near, you know our role as Filipinos is important that we should participate, actively participate in the coming elections,” he said in an interview over Church-run Radio Veritas.

Republic Act 8189 or the Voter’s Registration Act of 1996 allows the poll body to remove from the list of voters those who failed to vote in two consecutive elections.

Cardenas said the elections will determine the next president and vice president of the country where the restructuring and initiation of new plans and policies for the next generation are expected.

“The role of the youth is important, let us also help in encouraging the participation of all,” he added.

Latest Comelec data revealed the number of registered voters for next year’s polls has reached 60.1 million.

Of the number, more than 58 million are existing registered voters, more than 1.2 million are new registrants, while more than 800,000 are first-time voters and will be turning 18 years old before the elections.

The latest data from the poll body also showed there are some 6.3 million delisted voters.

Several lawmakers have urged the Comelec to extend the voter registration until October 31, as sign-up activities are suspended in areas under the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) and modified ECQ (MECQ). (PNA)



FALSE: 2022 preference survey results from Pulse Asia, SWS, PPCRV, KBP

At a glance
  • Claim: A photo in a Facebook post shows purported survey results about presidential preferences for the May 2022 elections, with results claimed to be from Pulse Asia, Social Weather Stations (SWS), Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV), and Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas (KBP).
  • Rating: FALSE
  • The facts: No evidence can be found that the said organizations conducted surveys with the given results.
  • Why we fact-checked this: The claim was found in a post in the Facebook group “Bongbong Marcos for President 2022” on July 3, with 544 reactions, 696 comments, and 53 shares as of writing. Versions of the post with different numbers are also circulating.
Complete details

A July 3 post on the Facebook group “Bongbong Marcos for President 2022” showed a photo with supposed presidential preference survey results for the May 2022 elections. The results were claimed to be from Pulse Asia, Social Weather Stations (SWS), Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV), and Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas (KBP). 

The post said: “Election Poll para sa 2022 Presidential Elections Ayon sa Survey Poll ng Pulse Asia SWS PPCRV at KBP Survey na Pumili ng Sino ang Gusto [mong manalo].” (Election poll for the 2022 presidential elections according to the survey poll of Pulse Asia, SWS, PPCRV, and KBP survey wherein you choose whom you want [to win.])


As of writing, the post had 544 reactions, 696 comments, and 53 shares. Versions of the post with different results are also circulating.

The claimed results are false.

Through an email to Rappler, Pulse Asia president Ronald Holmes said that they have not done the survey featured in the Facebook post.

As of the time the Facebook post was made, the latest survey that Pulse Asia conducted regarding presidential preferences was the February 2021 Nationwide Survey on the May 2022 Elections, whose results were released on April 24. The results for presidential prospects are shown on Table 1.

Respondents were asked whom they would vote for as president if the May 2022 elections were held right away with the given candidates on the list. Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte led for the entire Philippines with a national voter preference of 27%.

It can also be seen that the totals in each column in the Pulse Asia survey sum to nearly 100% (the difference with 100% is just a rounding error).

Since then, Pulse Asia has posted its results for the June 2021 Nationwide Survey on the May 2022 Elections on July 13. It had also posted its results for the November 2020 Nationwide Survey on the May 2022 Elections on December 31, 2020. In both cases, the leading presidential preference for the entire country was Sara Duterte as well.

Also, through an email, SWS Director for Communication and Information Technology Leo Laroza enjoined the public to “rely on the SWS website for its official reports and survey figures.” 

The survey results on the Facebook post also cannot be found in any release by the PPCRV, a Catholic Church-affiliated organization that describes itself as “a non-partisan, non-profit organization in the Philippines that works and strives for better elections,” or the KBP, a non-profit and non-governmental organization of Philippine broadcasters. 

PPCRV, through an email, denied that they had any part in conducting the survey with the results shown in the Facebook post, and remarked too that the results don’t even add up to 100%. 

Rappler has written fact checks about May 2022 presidential preference surveys, such as the following:

PPCRV to hold lecture series on election technology for 2022

Election watchdog Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV) will conduct a three-part lecture series that will tackle the different aspects of technology in Philippine elections.

The webinar, titled “It’s Good to Know,” will run for three consecutive Saturdays, beginning June 26.

For its first installment, the election watchdog invited Henry Aguda, PPCRV trustee and chief technology officer at UnionBank, to discuss vote-counting machines (VCMs).

VCMs are where voters insert their ballots for electronic tallying.

Hundreds of faulty VCMs marred the conduct of the 2019 midterm elections, but a random manual audit yielded a 99.9953% accuracy rate, the highest since the Philippines began holding automated polls in 2010.

For the 2022 elections, Smartmatic will remain the Comelec’s technology provider after already securing P1.04 billion ($20.8 million) worth of deals.

The PPCRV will also discuss the topics below on the following dates:

  • July 3 : How does transmission of votes happen?
  • July 10 : How does PPCRV do parallel counting?

The lecture series is among the voter education initiatives for the 2022 polls lined up by the PPCRV, a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization “that works and strives for clean, honest, accurate, meaningful, and peaceful elections.” —


PPCRV, nagpahayag ng suporta sa COMELEC mobile registration App

Nagpahayag ng buong suporta ang Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV) sa inilunsad na Mobile Registration Form App ng Commission on Elections (COMELEC) na naglalayong higit na mapabilis ang kasalukuyang voters’ registration na isinagasagwa ng kumisyon.

Ayon kay PPCRV National Trustee and Secretary Dr. Arwin Serrano, malaki ang maitutulong ng iba’t ibang mga pamamaraan upang higit na mapabilis at matiyak ang kaligtasan ng mamamayang magpaparehistro ngayong pandemya.

Inihayag ni Serrano na kaisa ng COMELEC ang PPCRV sa pagnanais na mapabilis ang proseso ng pagpaparehistro ng bagong botante.

“Fully support kami doon sa COMELEC’s initiative especially pandemic tayo so it’s good that COMELEC is also adjusting its process especially sa voters registration with regards doon sa mga paano maminimize o mamitigate itong mga health protocols natin and one of which nga yung pag-conceptualized ni Commissioner Marlon Casquejo regarding itong new voters registration concept.” pahayag ni Serrano sa panayam sa Radio Veritas.

Naniniwala naman si Serrano na dahil sa panibagong Mobile Registration Form App na inilunsad ng COMELEC ay higit na mahihikayat ang mga kabataan partikular na ang mga first time voters na magparehistro dahil sa mas mabilis at makabagong paraan ng pagpapatala.

“Yan yung nakikita ko na talagang magandang target audience din kasi yan naman talaga from the very start and even yun campaign natin before campaigns natin on voters registration ang priority talaga natin ay yung mga first time voters like yung mga youth sector kaya ito ay siguradong sigurado ko na gamay na gamay nila ito so yun yung nakikita natin na magandang target sector kung i-embrace ba ito ng mga youth.” Dagdag pa ni Serrano.

Una ng inihayag ni COMELEC Commissioner Marlon Casquejo na layunin ng Mobile Registration Form App ng COMELEC na higit na mapabilis ang proseso ng pagpaparehistro ng bagong botante.

Maaring magamit ang Mobile Registration Form App kahit walang data o internet ang isang mobile user kung saan hindi na rin kinakailangan pang i-print ang form.

Matapos na mapunan ang mga kinakailangang detalye ay magkakaroon ng QR Code ang bawat isa na kinakailangang i-save ng mga magpaparehistro at tanging kinakailangang ipakita sa mga tanggapan ng COMELEC kung saan naman kukunin ang biometrics ng bawat isa.

Dahil dito, tanging valid ID at QR Code na lamang mula sa Mobile Registration Form App ang kinakailangang dalhin ng mga magpaparehistro sa tanggapan ng COMELEC.



PPCRV asks help of dioceses to encourage voter registration

With less than four months before the deadline, a Church-based poll watchdog encouraged the dioceses to help encourage voter registration for next year’s elections.

Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting executive director Maria Isabel Buenaobra said the PPCRV will formally ask the dioceses to help raise awareness on the importance of voting.

“We are collaborating with dioceses for this campaign to encourage everyone, from the youth, those deactivated, and even OFWs, to get registered and reactivated,” Buenaobra told Radio Veritas.


Voting in the May 2022 presidential elections, she said, is important because it gives people a voice about who they want in office and it is an opportunity for change.

“Let us get registered because the May 2022 polls is a high-stakes election. We need to use our rights to vote,” Buenaobra said.


Comelec data showed about 3.7 million applicants for voter registration filed since January 2020.

Officials estimate that there will be some 4 million new applicants or those that just turned 18, who will get registered.

The poll body is also looking at some 1.5 million applications being filed for other types of transactions including transfer from other municipality, transfer within the same municipality, transfer with reactivation, and correction of entries.

The Comelec has earlier said it is unlikely to extend the nationwide registration period beyond the September 30, 2021 deadline as they prepare for the May 9 polls.