Vote padding in Kalinga and Zamboanga del Sur: Comelec execs face electoral sabotage raps

Jun. 07, 2007

MANILA — Partylist groups Bayan Muna, Kabataan, Anakpawis, Gabriela and Suara Bangsamoro, filed two more cases of electoral sabotage against the provincial canvassers of Kalinga and Zamboanga del Sur for vote shaving and vote padding respectively on June 6.

In separate complaints, Comelec officials of Provincial Boards of Canvassers (PBOC) of Kalinga and Zamboanga del Sur were charged with grave violations of Section 42 of Republic Act 9369 and Section 58 of Comelec Resolution 7859.

Atty. Ricardo Lampac (Chairman) Fiscal Bartolome Gamonnac (Vice Chairman), and the Department of Educations Cesar Adaoag (Member- Secretary) of the Kalinga PBOC; and Atty. Ignacio Baya (Chairperson), Atty. Victoriano Gonzaga (Vice-Chairperson), Visminda Serrato (Member-Secretary), Cleofela Rapisura and Wilfred Pulido (tabulators) of the Zamboanga Del Sur PBOC face the maximum penalty of life imprisonment for electoral sabotage.

Under RA 9369, the crime of electoral sabotage includes acts committed by canvassers who tamper, increase or decrease the votes received by a candidate in any election. The penalty is life imprisonment.

Kalinga vote shaving

Atty. Lampac is responsible for the tampering of the Certificate of Canvass (COC) that shaved the votes of Bayan Muna, Anakpawis, Gabriela and Kabataan in Kalinga.

In the provincial COC of Kalinga, Bayan Muna got 4,310, ANAKPAWIS 1805, KABATAAN 2,331 and GABRIELA 2,571 votes in the entire province of Kalinga.

But in the COC for Tabuk, Bayan Muna got 9,272, Anakpawis 1,078, Kabataan 2,824, and Gabriela 4,973 votes respectively in that municipality alone.

The complaint also noted that Atty. Lampac disappeared and took five days to deliver the COC to the Comelec National Board of Canvassers.

Zamboanga del Sur Vote Padding

In a separate complaint Atty. Ignacio Baya (Chairperson), Atty. Victoriano Gonzaga (Vice-Chairperson), Visminda Serrato (Member-Secretary), Cleofela Rapisura and Wilfred Pulido (tabulators) of the Zamboanga Del Sur PBOC were charged for violating the same laws for vote padding in practically the whole province.

In the municipalities of Molave, Tabina, Midsalip, Josefina, Lapuyan, and Ramon Magsaysay, the votes of Aangat Tayo, Ahonbayan, Alliance for Rural Concerns (ARC), Anak Mindanao, Ang Laban ng Indiginong Filipino (ALIF), A-SMILE, Buhay, COOP-NATCO, KAKUSA and UNIMAD were padded.

Bayan Muna votes were also padded by about 4,000 in Zamboanga del Sur. But the militant partylist groups counsel pursued the case to put those who sabotage the will of the people.

In sum, the provincial COC and SOV of the Province of Zamboanga Del Sur when compared to the municipal COC of each and every municipality thereof shows a discrepancy of one hundred eighty thousand six hundred forty four (180,644) votes.

Noticeably, this is a classic case of dagdag-dagdag. The votes for the concerned partylist groups were tampered with and increased by adding another or more digit to the actual number of votes received (i.e. the digit 2 was added to 144 to make it 2144; 1 was added to 413 to make it 1413, etc.).

Only Members of the Canvass Committee and its tabulators or members of the PBOCs could have been responsible for the tampering of votes in the Statement of Votes by Municipality because the said SOVs could have only been tampered with when it was under their custody. These respondents have the duty not to alter these SOVs without following the procedure outlined by law or Comelec rules. They are responsible for ensuring that these SOVs are not tampered with by others.

The same militant partylist groups also filed a similar case against the Provincial Board of Canvassers of Zamboanga Sibugay last May 29. ###

Atty. Neri Javier Colmenares, Counsel for Bayan Muna, 0917-8350459
Atty. Jobert Pahilga, Counsel for Anakpawis, 0928-2187007
Vince Borneo, Bayan Muna Media Officer, 0927-7968198

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