Votes for Philippines’s leftist party-lists not being read and tallied: Beltran

May. 18, 2007

MANILA — Anakpawis Representative and political detainee Crispin Beltran today said that the areas where the candidates other Arroyo administration’s Team Unity are supposedly winning big are also the areas where the progressive party-lists Bayan Muna, Anakpawis, Gabriela, Suara Bangsa Moro and Kabataan were being cheated out of hundreds of thousands of votes.

Beltran said that the Arroyo government’s electoral fraud machinery has upped its tactics and tried a ‘cleaner’ means of cheating having election canvassers ignore the votes for the progressive party-lists and candidates of the Genuine Opposition. He said that Comelec officials and representatives where paying very little attention to this anomaly.

Beltran said that there were reports coming from the municipalities in Southern Tagalog that votes for Anakpawis were not being called out and reported. “We are losing as many as 500 votes in small municipalities,” he said.

“Logic, common sense and the blatant way it is being perpetrated make it impossible to ignore the massive electoral fraud now taking place, and this is certain to worsen over the weekend and more votes are shaved off from the progressive party-lists and GO candidates. Case in point is what’s happening in Maguindanao where Team Unity has supposedly secured a clean sweep. Reports are also coming in how the bloc of progressive lists received zero votes in hundreds of precincts despite our presence and high visibility in the areas because of the existence of our chapters there,” he said.

He also said that in the chaos and violence that often broke out between the supporters of rival local candidates, the fraud operatives would take advantage and ignore the protests of the pollwatchers of the bloc of progressive party-lists. “Our pollwatchers are being pushed to the sidelines and ignored, their protests that the votes for our party-lists are not being counted or being cut in half are being dismissed. The fraud operators are taking full advantage of the tension-filled situation in the local elections race.”

The veteran labor leader’s party-list Anakpawis is shown to be ranking no. 16 in the last official tallies of the Namrel. Beltran said that he was highly apprehensive of this, and said that this low ranking is the effect of fraud against Anakpawis. “We have all reasons to believe that we would do well in the elections and maintain our two seats in congress if not secure another one. We decry the attacks against Anakpawis and these ongoing attempts to weaken our participation in the legislative arena by defrauding us of thousands of votes required to ensure that we maintain our two seats in congress,” he said.

A challenge to senatorial race winners

In the meantime, this early Beltran issued a challenge to the sure winners of the senatorial elections, saying that there is no better time for them to reveal their respective legislative agendas.

“The pressing economic issues affecting the Filipino people remain unresolved, namely low wages, massive unemployment, and high costs of utility rates. The Macapagal-Arroyo government has not acted decisively and concretely on these concerns, hence the economic welfare of the poor majority continues to deteriorate. We hope that the incoming 12 senators which now assuredly include Chiz Escudero, Loren Legarda, Manny Villar, Ping Lacson, Kiko Pangilinan and Joker Arroyo will not neglect to address these issues this coming 14th congress,” he said. #

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