It was raining and cold but Bettina Johnson-Green (Treasurer of Childdreamers Tondo) and I (from Radio Tagumpay and The Australian Filipina) were still keen to watch the vote counting of votes for the Philippine National Election received at the Philippine Consulate General in Sydney. With our skilful chauffeur, Bettina’s husband David, getting us through the traffic, we got to the Consulate at about 8:50pm.

There was a hive of activity that greeted us. There were several people in the Bulwagang Rizal, representing major political parties and two media organisations.  There was a happy atmosphere with people chatting softly and enjoying refreshments laid out while also taking the mandatory selfies.

We got to watch a few ballots received earlier in the day being fed (scanned) into the Smartmatic machine by no less than Acting Head of Post, Consul Emmanuel Guzman.  Consul Melanie Diano was in attendance and other consular staff were assisting in the process.  

Then from 9pm, the crunching of the scanned votes started.  There were nine precincts, with votes in locked bins on wheels were to be counted.  It was impressive on how meticulously Consul Manny undertook the process – beforehand he read the instructions and explained to us what was to be done. There was detailed documentation noting the time that the Smartmatic machine placed on top of each of the ‘bins’ was started and finished with the crunching of the ballots. 



Thirty reports were printed for each precinct and laid out on the table, for Consul Manny to sign off at the bottom, followed by the representatives of the two major political groups.  A copy was posted for those present to take a photo of, for reporting or sharing purposes. It took three hours for two precincts to be counted, reported printed and signed off.  It was after midnight that we left the Consulate but with all of us feeling impressed on how the process was being undertaken. I wish to congratulate the Consulate officials and staff, and all those present in the ballot counting for the election. The process was undertaken from 9pm, Monday on May 9, 2022 and I was told that it finished at 9:00am on Tuesday, May 10, 2022. 

Consul Mel Diano advised that the Consulate is happy that 42% of registered voters of 12,300, submitted their votes.  This figure is nearly double of the number of votes in the previous election.

The result of the votes for Australia as published in the Comelec website showed Leni Robredo winning the Presidential position with Sara Duterte as Vice President.

PRESIDENT

ROBREDO, LENI (IND)               4,487       47.38 %

MARCOS, BONGBONG (PFP)    4,162     43.95 %

VICE PRESIDENT

DUTERTE, SARA (LAKAS)        4,590       48.57 %

PANGILINAN, KIKO (LP)       3,938          41.67 %

The full report and statistical information can be viewed in the COMELEC’s website:
 2022 NLE (comelec.gov.ph)

The votes counted in the Philippines reflected a different result for the President position, with Ferdinand Marcos Jr winning by a big margin over Leni Robredo.   For the Vice President position,  it was consistent with the votes counted in Australia with Sara Duterte winning over Kiko Pangilinan.

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