Press Release
May 15, 2019

Akbayan Senator Risa Hontiveros on the results of the 2019 elections

We will persevere. We will submit to the results of the elections for now, but we will question the irregularities and we will never give in to despair. If anything, we will work harder, strive further and serve better.

And amid these somber times, there is hope. I would like to congratulate former Partylist Representative Kaka Bag-ao for winning the gubernatorial seat in Dinagat, Alvin Dizon, who won a seat as Cebu City councilor and other partymates who won in the different local elections. I would also like to extend my solidarity and congratulations to Vico Sotto on becoming the new Mayor of Pasig, helping to end a 27-year political dynasty. These victories inspire our way forward.

I am proud to have campaigned for the opposition slate: for my beloved party, Akbayan, and for those eight brave souls and all their volunteers who demonstrated their love for our country. As we vigilantly wait for the remaining votes to be counted and for the Comelec to address the serious cases of massive vote-buying in the partylist system, the 7 hour delay in the poll body's transparency server and the breakdown of many vote counting machines (VCMs) that disenfranchised a large number of voters, we will continue to meet every challenge and work for the protection of our democracy, no matter the circumstances.

We will continue to strive for an independent Senate and introduce electoral reforms, particularly in the partylist system and for campaign finance reform. The Senate is the people's last line of defense within the government against continuing attempts to undermine our democracy and attack our human rights. The opposition in the Senate will continue to build issue-based alliances with our colleagues to defend and promote the people's cherished freedoms and democracy.

Lastly, I appeal to everyone to put an end to the vote-shaming. Huwag po nating tawaging bobo at tanga ang mga kapwa nating botante. May dahilan ang kanilang pagpili. Ang hamon sa ating lahat ay alamin muli ang mga kadahilanang ito. We must humbly listen, understand and respond to the reasons behind their choices. Amid the noise of violence, we must create and nurture more spaces for democratic dialogue and conversations. Each dialogue opens possibilities for new understanding.

The anti-democratic forces may have further entrenched themselves in power, but we will continue to push back. This is certainly not the endgame. We are used to difficult fights. We are prepared to fight the long game.

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