Monday, May 07, 2007

Poll Fraud Plan ' Oplan Mercury Rising' Bared

Desperate to remain in power, Gloria Arroyo and her cohorts’ cheating machinery is rolling as planned. It will be worst than 2004 massive electoral fraud.

Ex-cops, soldiers bare poll fraud plan 'Mercury Rising'

At least 12 "areas of cheating," including five provinces in Mindanao and four in Visayas, will be the centers of "massive fraud" that may affect some 14.7 million votes on Election Day.

This was the claim of a group of retired police and military officials, which claimed to expose the existence of a cheating plan dubbed "Oplan Mercury Rising."

"Intelligence reports reveal the existence of 'Oplan Mercury Rising.' The operational plan has identified (12) specific areas where massive election fraud will be committed," the group, which calls itself "Bantay Boto," said in a statement.

Groups in "Bantay Boto" include Bagong Katipunan (BK/Magdalo); Federation of Retired Commissioned and Enlisted Personnel (FORCES); Grand Order of the Unified Guardians (GOUNIG); Para sa Bayan (PsB); Philippine Guardians Brotherhood, Inc. (PGBI); Soldiers and Police for Peace and Progress (SPP); and Young Enlisted Soldiers with Active and Retired Military-Police for Solidarity (YES ARMS).

According to the group, the 12 areas include Ilocos Sur with 345,981 registered voters; Pampanga (1,131,627); Camarines Norte (222,691);

Cebu (2,104,738); Bohol (661,041); Leyte (940,738); Eastern Samar (234,559);

Lanao del Norte (484,091); Davao del Sur (1,232,053); Lanao del Sur (396,722); Maguindanao (336,774); and Sharif Kabunsuan (198,280).

On the other hand, it said the fraud by regions will be committed in Western Visayas, which has 3,667,151 registered voters; Region 11 with 2,226,605 voters; CARAGA with 1,238,982 voters; and Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) with 1,504,024 voters.

"The respective Provincial Election Supervisors (PES), Assistant Regional Election Directors (AREDs), and Regional Election Directors (REDs) in these provinces and regions were allegedly ordered to see to it that TU candidates Defensor, Zubiri and Pichay should rank in the first three slots in their respective areas," it said.

At the regional level, it said, this will amount to 6,472,933 registered voters or 14.4% of the total number of registered voters.

"We will not allow the fraud of the 2004 election to happen again. We call upon the AFP, the PNP and the COMELEC to do their sworn duty under the Constitution of the Republic of the Philippines to stay neutral and non-partisan to ensure that the election is honest, clean, orderly, peaceful and reflects the sovereign will of the Filipino people," it said.

It added it will "use without hesitation all forces and resources at our disposal."

Bantay Boto said it has personnel who will watch the moves of the election supervisors in the areas concerned "until the final count is in."

The group identified the election inspectors as Joel Gines (Ilocos Norte); Temie Lambino (Pampanga); Said Ali P. Maganduga (Camarines Norte); Lionel Marco Castellano (Cebu); Veronico Petalcorin (Bohol); Andrew Bido (Leyte); Juan Bautista Beato (Eastern Samar); Remlane Tambuang (Davao del Sur); Joseph Hamilton Cuevas Banzon (Lanao del Norte); Nasib D. Yasin (Lanao del Sur); Lintang Bedol (Maguindanao); and Kasan P. Usi (Sharif Kabunsuan).

It identified the regional supervisors as Ray F. Sumalipao (Region 11), and Francisco Pobe (Caraga).

It identified the regional directors as Renato A. Magbutay (Region 6), Remlane M. Tambuang (11), Cirilo E. Nala, Jr. (Caraga), and Ray F. Sumalipao (ARMM).

Bantay Boto also said it has reports that some local government and Comelec officials whom it did not name were offered "huge cash incentives" if they can deliver 12-0 in favor of Team Unity.

An added bonus is promised if Genuine Opposition candidate Alan Peter Cayetano gets zero votes.

"We also have reports of verbal instructions from no less than the Office of the AFP Chief of Staff Gen. Hermogenes Esperon to all military commanders to ensure a TU 12-0 slate in their respective areas of responsibility especially in military camps where the canvassing of votes will be conducted," it said.

It also cited reports from Tarlac, Samar, and Davao Oriental that during the absentee voting in the AFP between May 4 to 6, 2007, Army personnel were instructed to vote straight TU as per verbal order of the Army chief.

"While voting, the soldiers were guarded by their officers and senior NCOs to ensure that they vote as ordered. In one area, the ballots which were placed in sealed envelops were collected and placed in a mere sack, not ballot box. The soldiers were directed to put their thumb marks and affix their signatures on blank sheets of paper which were collected by HPA personnel administering the absentee voting. In all areas, there were no overseeing COMELEC officials or representatives around, only direct commanders, AFP officers and NCOs," it said. - GMANews.TV

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