Davao City Mayor Sara Z. Duterte. (PNA file photo)

DAVAO CITY – Vice-presidential aspirant and Mayor Sara Z. Duterte said reports about pre-shaded ballots discovered during the absentee voting in Singapore and Dubai should not be taken lightly.

“I never have and will never condone cheating. I won my past elections because the people voted for me,” Duterte said in a statement Monday evening.

In a Facebook post on Monday, the Philippine embassy in Singapore said a spoiled ballot that came from Sunday's voting (April 10, 2022) was “inadvertently and unintentionally” given to a voter.

After the incident, Duterte said the legal team of Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats will request the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to investigate reports of electoral irregularities in Dubai and Singapore.

“The same action is also to be requested from the Comelec for future similar reports and allegations -- if any,” Duterte said.

Mayor Sara said she found it “grossly disconcerting” that her name was reportedly pre-shaded, along with some senatorial candidates.

As a politician, she said her experience has taught her that Filipinos do not respect those who “cheat and engage in election fraud.”

“And I take with great pride in the fact that my history in politics has never been tainted by cheating, fraud, and other election irregularities that could question my integrity and leadership,” the vice presidential aspirant added.

She also called on Filipinos, including overseas workers, to be vigilant against electoral fraud and ensure that their votes are protected.

“It is our collective responsibility to make sure that the 2022 election is safe, free, fair, and credible,” Duterte said. (PNA)