SALT LAKE CITY, UT – 70-year-old overseas absentee voter Adoracion Alitagtag lives 7,000 miles away from the Philippines, and she is making sure her voice is heard in this year’s presidential election.
“Talagang napakasaya ako na makakaboto ako, na magagamit ko yung aking karapatan sa papili ng isang presidente,” Alitagtag said.
Because the nearest consulate office is in San Francisco, Alitagtag cannot cast her ballot in person. She said that does not take away from the experience, but instead feels grateful for the opportunity to vote.
“Nagulat ako e. Hindi ko akalain na ako’y meron pa ng karapatan na bumoto sa Pilipinas dahil sa ako’y nandito sa America,” Alitagtag said.
She is fed up with government corruption, and added that her choice for president is Rodrigo Duterte.
“Makakatupad siya sa tungkulin na sinasabi niya na ibabangon niya ang Pilipinas. Parang ang pakiramdam ko sa kanya, talaga nasa puso ang sinasabi niya,” Alitagtag said.
Other candidates are also receiving support in Utah. However, these absentee voters believe Mar Roxas is the answer for a better Philippines thanks to his platform of continuity.
“I think Roxas is the most qualified among the candidates,” Roxas supporter Rochelle Pedroche said. “He has been with the Aquino government for a while, and it is his intention to continue on with the Aquino’s program, the Daang Matuwid.”
Meanwhile a number of OAVs are backing Miriam Santiago, citing her accomplishments as a senator as one of the reasons.
“Yung mga nagawa niya, mga laws, yung mga experience niya, yun talaga yung nakakapag-push sa akin to vote for her,” Santiago supporter Cecilia DeJesus said.
According to the latest polls, the race for president is going to be a close one, which makes each vote matter.