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In a roundtable discussion organized by the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism (PCIJ), election watchdogs identified several electoral reforms they would want the 19th Congress and the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to address ahead of the 2025 midterm polls.

Campaign finance is an important, if not the most important aspect, of any electoral exercise. One’s capacity to run for office is largely hinged on their access to resources.

The Court of Appeals had ordered the freezing of all the known assets of Andal Ampatuan Sr., his sons Andal Jr. and Zaldy, and 25 other Ampatuan family members on June 6, 2011. The order covered 597 bank accounts, 113 real properties, 142 firearms, and 132 motor vehicles allegedly owned by the Ampatuans. By then, however, Andal Jr. had sold eight real properties.

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.