Philippines: Election watchdog warns vs rigging votes from ARMM in favor of Team Unity

May. 30, 2007

MANILA, Philippines — Election watchdog Kontra Daya warned against rigging of votes from
Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) in favor of Team Unity

Kontra Daya joined the Concerned Citizens and other groups in a
protest rally, Wednesday, near the Philippine International Convention
Center (PICC) where the national canvassing is ongoing. The Commission
on Elections (Comelec) is set to canvass the votes from Maguindanao on
the same day.

Kontra Daya spokesperson Fr. Joe Dizon said, “The Arroyo
administration is set to use the highly questionable Certificates of
Canvass (COCs) from Maguindanao to manipulate the results of the
senatorial as well as party list race. It will be part of the
last-ditch efforts of the Arroyo administration to cheat.”

Dizon said, “Comelec must not canvass the spurious COCs from
Maguindanao.” Kontradaya, along with many other watchdog groups and
media centers, pointed out the improbability of a so-called “12-0” or
landslide TU victory in Maguindanao. Incredibly, several election
returns (ERs) were presented wherein the entire Genuine Opposition
slate allegedly failed to garner a single vote or were all given a
score of “0”.

Lanao del Sur special polls

Meanwhile, Emmi de Jesus, Kontra Daya spokesperson for the Lanao
Observer Mission, stated that the special elections held recently in
Lanao del Sur were “farcical and extremely vulnerable to vote

De Jesus headed the 17-member mission that went to Marawi City to
observe the special elections.

De Jesus said, “Chaos was the order of the day. We witnessed first
hand numerous violations of the new Election Code. Evidence of the
Comelec’s gross inefficiency, incapacity and, worse, complicity in the
cheating, were too rampant to ignore. The heated and often violent
conflicts among local rival politicians provide the fertile ground for
the crooked election officers, acting as a criminal syndicate, to
engage in election fraud.”

De Jesus Added, “The Arroyo administration has failed miserably in
bringing fair and free elections to Muslim Mindanao. Instead it is
taking advantage of the anarchic situation there to serve its own
partisan objectives, i.e. the incredible 12-0 sweep for Team Unity, or
at the minimum, the vote padding for TU candidates in the 13th to 15th

Garci boys

De Jesus noted that most of the voters did not vote for national
positions. “Alienation from the Manila government and national
politics in general seems to be one reason behind this. Another is the
Comelec’s utter lack of awareness campaign. It is so easy for the
cheaters to fill out the tally sheets, the ERs and COCs themselves.”

De Jesus underscored that the “‘Garci boys’ whom the Comelec refused
to get rid of despite calls from various watchdog groups are now
taking custody of the election returns (ERs).”

De Jesus identified them as Jubiel Surmieda and Renault Macarambon,
members of the Comelec’s Special Action Group (SAG) tasked to oversee
the conduct of special polls. She also noted that Jose Tolentino Jr.,
head of the SAG, was implicated in the multi-billion MegaPacific scam
but was not charged.

Carandang, Alamar

ABS-CBN senior correspondent Ricky Carandang and DZMM reporter Noel
Alamar were able to cover the transfer of ERs from the provincial
capitol to a hotel in Iligan City. Comelec official Rene Sarmiento
said he ordered the transfer based on recommendation from the SAG.

De Jesus said, “We believe that those who have been issuing death
threats to Carandang and Alamar are the operators of massive fraud. We
condemn this kind of harassment.”


Dizon said, “We commend the media and the Filipino people for their
vigilance. We must continue to guard our protest votes, no matter how
sham the democracy is in this country. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and her
cohorts must not be allowed to repeat the 2004 electoral fraud.
Cheating will be politically costly for the Arroyo administration.” #

IMPORTANT NOTICE: INBOX is an archive of press releases, statements, announcements, letters to the editors, and manifestos sent to Davao Today for publication. Please email your materials to davaotoday @ Davao Today is not responsible for the content of these materials. The opinion expessed in these items does not reflect those of Davao Today and its staff. Please refer to our terms of use/disclaimer.

comments powered by Disqus