Sunday, May 13, 2007

Election Retrurns In Hands Of Poll Cheats Exposed

Comelec chief Abalos, Defense Secy. Ebdane and AFP rogue chief Esperon are determined to rob the true will of the Filipino people. Malacanang has dim scenario if the opposition takes control of the legislature. Scams, anomalies and other crimes against the Filipino people will be thwarted on its bud. The criminal triad of Abalos-Ebdane-Esperon is remnants of the Hello Garci political scam. The Triad is brewing another perfect crime to thwart the true will of the people on Monday polls.

Election 2007 Map

Comelec denies election documents genuine

ERs in hands of poll cheats exposed

Daily Tribune 05/14/2007

Even before the precincts open today, in some parts of Mindanao, the elections are said to be over, including the counting, as bared in an exclusive ABS-CBN report aired over the weekend.

At the same time, dzBB radio yesterday bared that deputized teachers in Batangas City failed to find duplicates of the first of four pages of the election returns (ERs) they had received, while some have gone missing.

The poll body claimed that teachers were allowed to bring home these election documents for their “safekeeping.”

ABS-CBN reporter Ricky Carandang had a footage of his unnamed source pointing to the security water marks and saying poll operators have been selling official ballots and ERs weeks before the scheduled elections, selling them anywhere from P40,000 to P60,000 per set.

The video footage also showed the source teaching the reporter to identify the security markings in the ER and the ballot to prove their authenticity.

Held against an electronic magnifying glass, the ERs were shown to have distinguishable security markings and placed under ultra-violet lighting, the security marks also showed up.

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) quickly went into a damage control mode, with its spokesman, James Jimenez, claiming that even if the election documents shown up on TV have a security seal,

such is not proof of their genuineness.

Jimenez claimed that these reports ERs being peddled by poll operators to commit fraud is yet another attempt to discredit and destroy the credibility of the Comelec and the elections.

Jimenez told ANC that the ERs shown could still be fake despite the security markings.

“As for security marks, whether these are the same with the original, I cannot say for certain. In fact, very few people know what the actual security marks are. So at this stage, without actually having the opportunity to verify an absolutely authentic document and the documents that are reportedly for sale, it would be very hard to say whether or not these security marks are accurately placed or are even of the right type,” he said.

In a poll protest lodged before the Presidential Electoral Tribunal concerning the vice presidential votes, it was found that many of the ERs submitted to it were fake as they carried no security watermaks.

An member of the anti-fraud team from the opposition camp said it is unlikely for poll operators to manufacture fake ERs and go to all the trouble of putting out special security watermarks—especially as these are reportedly being sold in the Mindanao area. Besides, these security marks are not visible to the naked eye.

A survey result released by the Social Weather Stations on the public’s cheating expectations showed that cheating in vote-counting or “dagdag-bawas” expectations went up in Metro Manila, from 66 percent to 70 percent. It was the same in the Visayas, from 37 percent to 46 percent.

The Genuine Opposition (GO) for its part, yesterday said its anti-cheating teams are in place, saying it is ready to do its task.

GO said it is ready to field its anti-fraud team to monitor the mid-term elections held today to ensure that the votes of the opposition senatorial bets would be counted and that vote shaving and vote padding would be avoided.

In the same light, National Movement for Free Elections (Namfrel) President Damaso Magbual said he and his team are now ready to do the quick count as they try to salvage Namfrel’s reputation, following a highly controversial 2004 tallying of votes.

“We will be faster. All of the problems the last time around have been fixed,” Magbual told the Tribune.

He added that the Namfrel is “adequately ready” for the poll canvassing.

Adel Tamano, spokesperson for GO, said they have spent many weeks in setting up their anti-cheating team.

“We have spent weeks and weeks setting up our anti-cheating team. We can honestly say that given our very limited resources we have come up with a well organized and intelligently set up anti-fraud team,” he said, while refusing to give the number of people involved.

Tamano said the said anti-cheating team would be scattered all over the country , the majority of which would be assigned to cheating-prone areas.

“This anti-cheating team is composed of patriotic Filipinos who want nothing more than to have honest elections,” Tamano said.

Meanwhile, senatorial re-electionist Panfilo Lacson on Saturday urged voters not to just vote wisely in today’s elections, but to make sure that they guard their votes as well.

“When they go to their respective polling precincts on Monday, Filipinos should not just choose their candidates wisely. They should also guard their votes vigilantly,” Lacson said in a statement.

Lacson gave the last-minute advice to voters as he said the consequences of choosing wrongly – or allowing the wrong candidates to cheat their way to victory – will be disastrous for the next three to six years.

“If we choose the wrong candidate or allow the wrong candidate to cheat his or her way to victory, we will have to live with that choice for the next three years for local candidates – or six years in the case of senators,” Lacson said.

He said voters should use their conscience in making their choices, as they will be installing into office leaders who will shape the government’s policies for at least the next three years.

He said the May 14 elections will be a chance for Filipinos to get back at an administration that has trampled on their rights since 2001. “It is time that we get back at this administration for violating our rights, by using our sacred right to vote,” he said.

Lacson also made an appeal to Filipinos who have become cynical of this year’s elections to still go out and vote, saying those who forfeit their right to vote will deserve whoever will “win,” including those who turn out to be corrupt.

“Those who say they are not interested in politics deserve the elected officials who are worse than themselves. If they remain cynical and don’t vote, they deserve the elected officials,” he said.

“People have become cynical and rightly so. What they see is a circus,” he added.

Senate President Manuel Villar Jr., appealed to the public and the electorate to exercise heightened vigilance in order to protect the electoral process in the country and preserve democracy. “To attain clean, orderly and peaceful elections, all of our citizens must take an active part in protecting the sanctity of the ballot which represents the supremacy of the Filipino masses,” Villar said.

“This is the time to make a difference and allow the will of our people to prevail,” Villar said.

The Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) called on the voters yesterday to exercise their people power through the ballot and not boycott the polls.

CBCP president Angel Lagdameo said:”Do not allow anyone to violate the sanctity of your ballot. Vote according to your conscience. Vote freely whom you believe can advance the common good of this country. Protect your vote from being tampered with. Remember: the candidate who wins by cheating will also govern by cheating. The citizens who sell their votes for any price deserve the government they install with their votes.”

The CBCP president said that they had thousands of volunteers working with the CBCP national secretariat for social action (Nassa), Namfrel and the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV).

Malacañang, which is highly suspected of ensuring a victory of Team Unity candidates through poll fraud yesterday said it will not engage in any cheating, but predicted that TU candidates will dominate the Senate and come off as the new majority.

In a text message to Malacañang reporters, Presidential Adviser on Political Affairs Gabriel Claudio said the administration will not taint the credibility of today’s elections since it is already assured of TU’s victory at the polls.

“Administration candidates are committed to have clean and honest elections tomorrow. Administration candidates will therefore not be disposed to taint the integrity and credibility of tomorrow’s polls through cheating. The administration is looking forward to gaining a new majority in the the Senate, courtesy of decisive TU victory,” Claudio said.

The Palace also bragged about its advantage in the local government units (LGUs), claiming that the GO has failed to field candidates in 55 percent of provinces, towns and cities nationwide.

“We are upbeat about the chances of TU because they carried out a very successful campaign that was enthusias-tically received by the electorate in more provinces than the opposition could even dream of reaching. Eighty five percent of incumbent local officials are supporting TU. The administration coalition has fielded candidates for 98 percent of the 17,000 elective positions being contested, all of them brandishing and distributing sample ballots bearing the TU lineup.”

“TU has also succeeded in presenting a contrast between its platform of performance and progress against GO’s campaign of hate, obstruction and hypocrisy. As local execs, many of them have been in the forefront of defending PGMA and the government against destabilization efforts of the opposition in ’05 and ’06. They are aware that charges of election fraud can undo the climate of political stability and economic growth momentum that they themselves helped PGMA create,” he added.

The Palace earlier denied having a hand on reports that poll cheating is already being readied especially in Mindanao .

The Palace was particularly reacting to the Tribune report that aside from fabricated election returns (ERs) favoring the TU bets of President Arroyo, fake P 500 bills were being circulated in Visayas and Mindanao to be used for vote buying in favor of the administration’ candidates.

There were also reports that the votes cast by members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) in favor of the GO candidates were tampered and replaced by the name of the TU bets.

When asked about this, Presidential Legal Adviser Sergio Apostol said it is the GO that is using money to influence votes in Visayas and Mindanao, and not the TU which has solid support from the LGUs.

“Maybe, the money came from the supporters of GO and not from us because we have solid backing from the LGUs,” Apostol said. With Jojo Arazas, Sherwin C. Olaes and Tribune wires
16 Comelec officials under watch for possible poll cheating
Perfecting a crime

Labels: , ,

free web counter
free web counter