Comelec, Arroyo liable for questionable Philippines elections, says group

May. 20, 2007

MANILA — An indignant Kontra Daya marched to the Philippine International Covention Center to deliver its initial post election report amdist news of possible wholesale fraud in Mindanao and other provinces. (Report is attached herewith.)

Led by convenors Vice president Teofisto Guingona, Atty. Josie Lichauco and Fr. Joe Dizon, the group marched from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas going to the PICC where the national canvassing is being held.

The latest developments in the canvassing of votes, particularly the rise if the improbable 12-0 vote for the administration in some provinces, compels us to release this report immediately to the public. The report is an assessment of the elections as well as a warning to the public on the massive fraud that is yet to come, Dizon said.

We cannot take lightly the situation in Mindanao where some provinces are delivering the highly improbable or near impossible 12-0 vote for the administration senatorial slate. This development comes in the wake of reports of massive vote buying, proliferation of illegal yet genuine election returns, failure of elections and some election officials refusal to furnish the Opposition and Namfrel copies of Election Returns, the activist priest added.

In its report, the group blames the Comelec for failing to eliminate the conditions for wholesale fraud before the May 14 elections. This includes the removal of questionable Comelec officials assigned in Mindanao.

We have only the Comelec to blame. The poll body failed to ensure the integrity of the elections in Mindanao. The notorious operators mentioned in the Garci tapes are more powerful than ever, even to the point of ignoring an order from the Comelec to release copies of the ERs to Namfrel, Dizon said.

Dizon said the Comelec should immediately relieve its ARMM regional director Rey Sumalipao for failing to provide Namfrel with copies of the ERs. Sumalipao should be brought to Manila to explain his actions.

Dizon also urged an investigation into allegations that ballots were rigged a day before the polls. The problem with Comelec is that it does not conduct investigations mottu propio. Thus it shares a liability and complicity in cases of fraud.

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