Votes for partylists, Legarda said to have been shaved by 73% in massive election fraud in Philippines

Posted by Bulatlat
Vol. VII, No. 15, May 20-26, 2007

MANILA—Task Force Poll Watch, an anti-fraud and monitoring group formed by partylist groups, reported this morning massive vote-shaving in at least 10 provinces, resulting in 73 percent loss of votes for Bayan Muna, Anakpawis, Gabriela, Kabataan and Genuine Opposition senatorial candidate Loren Legarda.

“All in all, the vote-shaving incidents reduced votes for our partylist groups and Legarda by 73 percent. Based on ERs, we got 9,739 votes but we were only credited with 2,534 in the canvassing stage,” Nathanael Santiago, Bayan Muna secretary-general said in a statement.

The vote-shaving, he said, was “a massacre of votes, and we could only guess who are benefiting from the votes stolen from us and the Filipino people.”

Santiago said they only monitored partial reports so far of the vote-shaving. “We suspect that more such incidents remain unreported, and that more votes may have been stolen or are being stolen nationwide,” he Santiago. “There is obviously a campaign to deny our partylists and GO a full, complete and credible count of our votes.”

In its statement, Bayan Muna reported the following incidents:

* In the Mountain Province, Legarda’s more than 900 votes did not appear correctly in the Certificate of Canvass (COC), while Bayan Muna votes were reduced from 180 to a measly two.
* In Balbalan, Kalinga, 600 votes for Bayan Muna, Kabataan and Gabriela disappeared and remain unaccounted for in the COC.
* In Mabini, Batangas, pollwatchers noted that 4,109 votes for Bayan Muna were recorded only as 409, while Gabriela’s 414 votes were written as 214. In both instances, the canvassers corrected the figures due to protests by pollwatchers.
* In Magpaet, North Cotabato, Gabriela obtained 2,218 votes but the COC recorded only 983.
* In Columbio, Sultan Kudarat, Anakpawis reportedly got zero in the municipal canvass but the ERs say the partylist got 238.
* Vote-shaving incidents were also reported in Isabela, Cavite, Rizal, Catanduanesand Misamis Oriental, Bayan Muna said.

Yesterday, the coalition party of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo denied allegations of fraud in Monday’s elections. The Commission on Election chairman Benjamin Abalos was likewise quoted as saying that there had been no reports of fraud and that this election “vindicated” the poll body, whose credibility had been compromised by allegations in the past, particularly during the 2004 elections, that it had aided the administration in electoral fraud.

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