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No basis for claim that teachers were ordered to alter election results

There is no basis to a claim on social media that public school teachers have been paid to tamper with the “final” results of the May 9 elections to ensure that presidential candidate Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and his running mate Sara Duterte would win in their polling centers.

As of May 8, the Department of Education has not received such complaints from teachers working as election staff this year, DepEd Election Task Force Chairperson Alain Pascua said in an email to FactRakers.

The original source of the claim, supposedly a public school teacher, remains unidentified. Facebook user Alex Guevarra posted the claim on Facebook on May 5 with the caption “ETO PA ISANG SUMBONG (Here’s another complaint)!!??

The claim reads:

From a public shool (sic) Teacher 🙏
March palang po ngttraining na kming mga public school teachers para po sa national election Then nitong april po ay binigyan na kmi ng mga assignments and designations po Sa akin po ang naibigay ay team leader ng buong school ng isang district [...] Ang masakit lang po is gusto po nilang mangyari ay ang maging result tlga na lalabas n president ay si bbm so as team leaders may mga usb and codes po kmi na gagamitin para pgdating sa final result ang lalabas ay c bbm-duterte. Then ung mga teachers po na magbabantay bawat classroom, totoo po un na may thumbs up and downTpos kapag d kami susunod ay ihaharass po kmi
(Last March, we public school teachers were already training for the national elections. Then by April we were given assignments and designations. I was designated team leader of a whole school in one district. What’s painful is that what they want is for the result to be BBM as president. There are USB and codes that we will use, so that when it comes to the final results, what will appear is BBM-Duterte.. Then the teachers who will be stationed in each classroom, it’s true that there is a thumbs up and down…If we don’t follow, we will be harassed)..

BBM stands for Bongbong Marcos, Marcos’ nickname. USB refers to a flash drive.

Pascua said “there is no such designation as a ‘team leader’” among the poll workers mobilized by the Commission on Elections this year, 85% of whom come from DepEd.

He added that the term was never used even in orientations and training with them.

The chairperson, poll clerk and third member of the Electoral Board (EB) in each clustered precinct should preferably be public school teachers “who are qualified, willing and available,” according to Comelec Resolution No. 10727. They are tasked to conduct the voting in their polling place and administer the electronic counting of votes

The resolution states that EB members close the voting by removing the secure digital cards from the vote counting machines and placing these into an envelope. They will not use flash drives or codes, contrary to what is stated in the claim.

During the counting of votes and transmission of results, the EB members and poll watchers are required to “strategically position themselves to ensure transparency of all the proceedings,” according to the resolution.

Executive Order No. 162 states that “the employment of teachers as watchers and members of the Board of Election Inspectors is vital to the preservation of the secrecy and sanctity of the ballot.”

The erroneous claim also states that their salary for their election duties would increase from P9,000 to P15,000 as long as the results show a sweep from the UniTeam slate of Marcos and Duterte. The full text reads:

Then instead na 9k each po ang magiging salary namin during election. Ggawin po nilang 15k basta ang kailangang lumabas n result ay uniteam (Instead of 9,000 each for our salary during the elections. They will make it 15,000 as long as the results show UniTeam).

DepEd sets the honoraria for teachers based on their role: P7,000 for board chairperson, P6,000 for board members, P5,000 for supervising officials and P3,000 for support staff.

Teachers will also be given P2,000 transportation allowance, P1,500 communication stipend and P500 anti-COVID-19 allowance and medical and accident insurance.

The claim was reposted by other Facebook accounts. Others reposted screenshots of the claim sent as messages in Messenger group chats.

The post has received more than 3,000 comments and more than 2,000 shares and reactions. (CC)

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