by Zachary Lee, MA Journ student
The 2019 Philippine election is seen as a referendum on President Rodrigo Duterte’s governance. And although the actual election will be held on May 13, overseas absentee voting started a month earlier.
The number of Filipinos abroad who registered as overseas absentee voters for the 2016 national elections breached the 1-million mark. This year, according to the Commission on Elections, a total of 1.7 million individuals registered to be overseas voters.
An estimated 87,000 Filipinos in Hongkong are registered voters, and about half of them have cast their votes since April 13. The poll will close on May 13 at 4 pm at the Bayanihan Center in Kennedy Town. According to the Philippine Consulate General in Hong Kong, there are free shuttle services provided for Filipinos to vote.
Volunteers from the different political parties were campaigning near the poll station. Many volunteers stayed the whole day to show their support for the candidates. On May 21, more than 5,000 Filipinos showed up for absentee voting. In this video, they shared their thoughts about the situation back home and why is it important for them to participate in this election.
M.A. Journalism student Zachary Lee submitted the story below to his Advanced Reporting and Writing course under Luz Rimban. Zachary is from Taiwan, works for the BBC, is based in Hongkong, and is now in Manila to cover the elections