Press Release
May 6, 2016


Presidential candidate Miriam Defensor Santiago on Friday warned that the Filipino youth who have rallied behind her are likely to protest the results of the May 9 polls if the numbers do not reflect the youth choice.

Santiago, who has been topping campus mock polls since the filing of certificates of candidacy, said youth engagement in the elections seem to be at a peak again, similar to the 1992 campaign which almost won her the presidency.

"When I was not declared winner of the 1992 elections, many of my volunteers threatened to take to the streets to protest the election results. Back then, the choice was clear to me: I cannot allow violence," the senator said.

But Santiago said she might not be able to stop any youth action against perceived electoral fraud this elections, especially amid mounting youth clamor for moral leadership fueled by allegations of plunder against other candidates.

Some 40 percent of the total 54.4 million registered voters are aged 18 to 35. This means that the candidate who can secure at least 75 percent of the youth vote would have numbers comparable to what made Benigno Aquino III president in 2010.

"The combined power of millennials will be sufficient to overcome any violence threatened by other presidential candidates, but it also means that if these voters stage their own protests, they will be a force to reckon with," Santiago said.

The senator has earlier urged her supporters to be vigilant against early efforts to rig the elections, citing reported glitches in the polling machines used by the Commission on Elections and widespread vote-buying.

Santiago has also repeatedly criticized the results of commercial surveys. She accused the top two pollsters of removing her name from the survey forms to force respondents to vote for other presidential candidates.

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