GO told: Stop whining about Mindanao fraud

May. 28, 2007

MANILA, Philippines Instead of constantly griping about alleged election fraud in Mindanao, the political opposition should just let the electoral process run its course, the administration Team Unity said today.

Calling the Genuine Opposition belligerent and arrogant because of its nonstop griping, a Team unity spokesman said there is undisputable evidence that the conduct of elections in certain areas of Mindanao had been fair, honest and transparent.

Ben Evardone, the governor of Eastern Samar who is also the TUs media director, also said that the rush of votes from pro-administration turfs will eventually send more TU bets into the win column.

The opposition has charged that massive fraud in the form of vote buying, intimidation and tampering of ballots and election documents took place in Mindanao, particularly the Maguindanao and Lanao del Sur provinces, in the May 14 elections.

TU has dismissed these charges and challenged the opposition to file the appreciate petitions before the Commission on Election. Evardone said the elections has had an international verdict and that this boosted Philippine democracy. The prevailing positive sentiment from business and foreign investors on the post-elections state of the domestic economy, he said, “are the real benchmarks that the conduct of the May 14 polls was generally peaceful and honest.”

He added: “They claim that they have the evidence to prove their victory. They claim that they have an anti-fraud infrastructure in place. They claim that they knew of the outcome of the senatorial elections. And with all of these, the GO candidates and its panicky lawyers should rest in peace and allow for the smooth end to the electoral process.”

Evardone accused the opposition of concocting these stories of cheating and fraud to poison the public mind that fraud had taken place on May 14 and afterwards, thus setting the environment for the destabilization of the government now that the national canvassing by the Commission on Elections is showing that at least three of the TU bets are almost certain of winning and that three more within striking distance of the Magic 12 are likely to make it in the final Comelec tally.

“The apparent agenda of the opposition is clear. This is to rock the Arroyo government and revive the failed efforts in 2005 and 2006 to oust the President, this time on the excuse of protesting electoral fraud,” Evardone added.

He asked the Comelec to disregard the “whining” of the opposition and count the votes from the remaining certificates of canvass or COCs so it can proclaim the winners in the senatorial race. (davaotoday.com)

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