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Duterte asks poll watchers to bring their own food on election day.

Byline: Nico Alconaba

DAVAO CITY -- It will be BYOB or Bring Your Own Baon (Packed Food) for the poll watchers of presidential aspirant on election day.

Due to fund constraints, volunteers for watchers are urged to fend for themselves, an uncommon move in Philippine elections where candidates provide food and allowance for their watchers.

Duterte, in an interview, called on his supporters to help him guard the votes.

I call on those who support me, those who believe in me, those who sympathize with me help me guard my votes, he said, adding that he had no money to give as allowances for his poll watchers.

Please bring your own food because I don't have the money (to provide for what you need), he said.

Duterte said his supporters, in volunteering as poll watchers, would be investing in the future of the country.

Magdala kayo ng food or whatever is necessary during the critical hours of the counting, canvassing of ballot, Duterte again appealed.

Leoncio Evasco, national campaign manager for Duterte, told the Philippine Daily Inquirer that they have been planning to recruit 92,000 poll watchers all over the country.

He admitted that feeding the watchers would be difficult for Duterte's camp, which refused election campaign fund donations from questionable sources and even from corporations that have been doing business with the government.

That's why we urge the Duterte supporters who have more in life to please share and support our poll watchers, he said.

He also urged Duterte's supporters living near polling places to prepare whatever they could to feed the poll watchers.

They can bring fried bananas, boiled camote, water. That would be a big help for the watchers, he said.

This week, the Mindanao team of the Duterte's campaign arm will start listing, recruiting and training election watchers.

The poll watchers in Mindanao will be handled by the campaign team, while those in Visayas and Luzon will be recruited by Duterte's party, the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban).

But in Mindanao areas where there are PDP-Laban candidates, recruitment will be handled by the party.

Evasco also urged Duterte's supporters to gather in polling places on election day to thwart any plan to cheat our candidate.

Ding Ladayo, Duterte's campaign coordinator for the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, said they would need at least 6,000 poll watchers for Duterte in the five-province region.

There will be proper orientation for the poll watchers, he said.

But they will be all volunteers - people who do not expect cash allowance and free food, he said, adding that they would recruit people who believe in the politics being introduced by Duterte.

Ladayo said that for Muslim poll watchers of the Duterte camp, it would be BYOP or Bring Your Own Pastil (rice meal wrapped in banana leaves).

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Publication:Philippines Daily Inquirer (Makati City, Philippines)
Date:Apr 12, 2016
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