Thousands set to protest election canvassing in Philippines

May. 22, 2007

MANILA — All roads lead to the Philippine International Convention Center tomorrow, May 23, as a broad array of groups continue to protest what they described as a rising trend of fraud favoring the administration.

Groups and individuals will be marching under the banner of concerned citizens and will assemble at 3:00pm in front of the Star City at the Cultural Center of the Philippines in Pasay. From the Star City, they will march by 4pm going to the PICC where the Comelec is sitting en banc. Thousands are expected to attend.

Last Monday, around 200 members of the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan and the anti-fraud group Kontra Daya marched to the PICC where the national canvassing of votes is being held.

Tomorrows message will be simple. You cheat, we march and protest.

Its like 2004 all over again. Everyday, anomalies in the canvassing are being discovered. The biggest anomalies are the 12-0 sweeps in several provinces favoring Team Unity. A public school teacher has already admitted to being forced to rig the polls in Maguindanao. We have to make a stand and protest this shameless cheating, said Bayan secretary general Renato M. Reyes, Jr.

We want to tell the Arroyo administration that it is time to accept defeat in the polls and to stop the cheating operations intended to elevate some administration candidates and partylist groups, Reyes said.

Opposition candidates and militant partylist groups have been leading in the official and unofficial counts of Comelec and Namfrel.

The problem with the administration is that it refuses to accept defeat. It still wants its henchmen elected to the Senate to ensure the success of future plans such as charter change, Reyes said.

It is only a matter of time, with this kind of fraud in the elections, before more and more people start hitting the streets in protest. Arroyo can no longer be allowed to subvert the peoples vote yet again. Arroyo is forcing another collision course between the people and her regime, Reyes said.

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