Last Two Voters in Tokyo for the 2016 National Elections Hope for a Better Philippines
The Philippine Embassy in Tokyo recorded the last male and female overseas voters to have cast their votes for the 2016 National Elections on 09 May 2016 shortly before 6:00 PM (5:00 PM Manila time). They were Maria Eva Livelo Yokohama and Michael Henry Pasco Pantaleon who both expressed hope for clean and fair elections and a better Philippines in the next administration.
A jazz singer who performs regularly at 5-star hotels in Tokyo, Maria Eva is a permanent resident and has lived in Japan for the last 35 years. Married to Japanese but remained to be Filipino, Maria Eva is a first time overseas voter. When asked of her voting experience, she said, “I wanted to be part of my country. My vote counts and hopefully brings the needed change for a better Philippines.” She read online news to know the candidates’ achievements, whether they are fit to hold public office, and their plans and program to help her choose the best leaders. Incidentally, Maria Eva’s family members back in the Philippines are also local politicians in their province.
Michael Henry is an iphone application developer who has worked in Tokyo for more than a year now. Also a first time overseas voter, he said, “I cast my vote because there are now more options as to choices of leaders this time than before. Now that I am working abroad, I see the disparity of progress and development of my country compared to others. This challenged me to participate in this year’s elections to help choose the right leader for the future of my country.” Michael Henry used social media as one of his sources to get facts and figures on the political events in the Philippines. But he was quick to say that not everything in social media is true and correct. He said that he verifies other sources to aid his understanding and appreciation of these facts and figures.
Both Maria Eva and Michael Henry received their ballots by mail but decided to personally appear at the Embassy for them to experience feeding their ballots into the vote counting machine (VCM). Both expressed satisfaction of their voting experience.
For the 2016 National Elections, the Philippine Embassy in Tokyo is implementing the Automated Election System (AES) allowing the 20,363 registered overseas voters to cast their votes either by postal or personal voting. End.