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President Duterte has appointed a new election chairman and three commissioners -- all of them from Mindanao. By 2022, Comelec will be run entirely by Duterte’s appointees. Mostly newbies with little or no experience in running national automated elections, they will administer the vote for the next President of the republic, amid calls from politicians to shift to a hybrid manual cum automated election system.

Across the Philippines' 81 provinces, from 30 to over 50 percent of voters failed to vote for party-list groups in May 2019. Many voters missed the names of party-list groups printed on the back of the ballot. The undervoting rate for party-list groups was 37.37 percent in the last elections, nearly double the 20.08 percent in 2016.

Avoidable delays in the procurement of goods and services; the election calendar revised four times; wasteful spending on machines that conked out or were not used; massive undervoting for party-list groups. The May 2019 elections: A messy affair, not fault-free at all.

Most of the candidates are from the administration-backed Hugpong ng Pagbabago (HNP) and the Liberal Party’s Otso Diretso. The number of candidates covered by the overview/scan reached 29 because the Pulse Asia Top 24 list had some slots occupied by more than one candidate. As a result, 13 from HNP, eight from Otso Diretso/LP, and eight from other groups or independent candidates are included in this report.