News PHL Vote 2022

ABS-CBN revives election coalition: Halalan 2022

Its shutdown almost two years ago did not prevent ABS-CBN from reviving Halalan, an election coverage coalition of various universities, election watchdogs, the public and private sector, and media groups that it had been forming in the past elections, for the May 2022 elections.

In its virtual launch hosted by news anchors Karen Davila and Henry Omaga-Diaz on Wednesday, Jan. 19, ABS-CBN chairman Mark Lopez thanked the members of the coalition that stood by the partnership, despite the non-renewal of its franchise to operate, considered the biggest blow to media by the Duterte government.

Halalan 2022 virtual launch

Halalan 2022 virtual launch -2

“I am very grateful that despite all that has happened, ABS-CBN has been able to find new partners in our mission to serve the Filipino,” said Lopez of the partnerships that the network has been able to maintain in its 69 years in the industry. “The recent devastation caused by the super typhoon Odette reminded us that our concerns extend far beyond the corona virus, and that makes the upcoming elections critical for every Filipino,” he added.

ABS-CBN has returned to free TV (Channel 11). It is followed by 13 million subscribers in You Tube and 23 million in Facebook.

ABS-CBN online news website is still number one in readership “but we know this is not enough to reach the big audience that we used to serve, especially at a time when Filipinos must have access to news and information that would be essential to their political exercise in a few months,” Ging Reyes, head of ABS-CBN’s Integrated News and Current Affairs division, said.

Halalan 2022 brings together diverse groups to provide reliable information for 67.5 million registered Filipino voters faced with myriad issues amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. Among the activities it will undertake include presidential and vice-presidential debates.

At least 25 groups signed the coalition’s manifesto, which reads:

Halalan 2022 Manifesto

Elena Pernia, University of the Philippines’ vice president for public affairs, said Halalan 2022 is “very significant and in fact, very critical” because Filipinos “deserve an education in political and voter literacy so that we can be empowered to become more discerning and more discriminating of information.”

“An enlightened citizenry is key to democracy. It bears repeating that our vote is a decision on our future; that everyone needs to be educated about the value of elections, about the candidates running for national and local positions. Why? Because the persons we are going to give our vote to will have an impact on six years of our lives and six years is a long time,” Pernia added.

Ellen Tordesillas, president of VERA Files, a member of the coalition, said the launch of the ABS-CBN lead election coverage coalition sends a message to those who want to curtail press freedom that they will never triumph.

She said VERA Files, one of Facebook’s third-party fact-checking organizations in the country, brings to the coalition its knowledge and experience in responsible reporting and fact-checking. “Dala ng VERA Files sa koalisyon na ito ang aming kaalaman at karanasan sa responsableng pamamahayag at fact-checking. Tutulong kaming labanan ang mga kasinungalingan at disinformation na naglilipana sa social media sa panahong ito ng kampanya para mabigyan ang mga mamamayan ng tamang impormasyon na siyang maging gabay nila sa kanilang pagboto sa Mayo,” Tordesillas further said.

(We will help fight the lies and disinformation that proliferate on social media, especially this campaign season, to give citizens the correct information that can guide them as they cast their votes in May.)

As of this writing, Halalan 2022’s members include: