Monday, July 09, 2007

Wholesale cheating spotted in 10 Mindanao towns

Senatorial candidate Koko Pimentel has spotted wholesale cheating in at least ten Mindanao towns prompting him to ask the Commission on Elections (Comelec), as National Board of Canvassers (NBC), to act on his petitions to retabulate the senatorial votes.
Koko Pimentel said in these 10 towns in different provinces in Mindanao, election documents were falsified, enabling Team Unity bet Juan Miguel Zubiri to obtain from 87 percent to 92 percent of the votes cast which is “statistically improbable.”

Pimentel said his motions for the retabulation of votes in these towns are backed by documentary evidence that would show that election results were manufactured not only in Maguindanao but in other provinces also to bloat the number of votes for Zubiri so that he could overtake him (Pimentel) in the race for the 12th senatorial slot.

He has filed a new petition with the Supreme Court to compel the Comelec to retabulate the senatorial votes in Maguindanao. The petition was filed after Comelec shot down the repeated objections of Pimentel’s lawyers to the authenticity and validity of the Maguindanao results.

Pimentel identified the towns that are the subjects of Pimentel’s motions for recomputation to correct the fraudulent entries as Sultan Naga Dimaporo, Salvador and Matungao in Lanao del Norte; Sultan Kudarat, Datu Blah Sinsuat and Kabuntalan in Shariff Kabunsuan; Lutayan and Palimbang in Sultan Kudarat; and Patikul and Luuk in Sulu.

In Sultan Naga Dimaporo, Lanao del Norte, Pimentel said that Zubiri obtained 24,560 votes or an incredible 90.29 percent of the total registered voters of 27,201 while Pimentel was credited only with 114 votes.

Another unbelievable result in Sultan Naga Dimaporo, according to Pimentel, is that out of 147 precincts in this municipality, the 12 Team Unity senatorial candidates garnered exactly the same number of votes that are equal to the number of voters who actually voted while candidates from the Genuine Opposition and other parties garnered a uniform zero or one vote.

For instance, he said all Team Unity bets received 167 votes out of 167 voters who cast their ballots in Precinct No. 0123-A.

They likewise received a uniform 193 votes each in Precinct No. 142-A where there were 193 voters who cast their ballots.

Available election documents also showed that there was a 100 percent voters’ turnout in 40 polling precincts while another 50 precincts had a voter turnout of 97 to 99.9 percent in Sultan Naga Dimaporo, which is an “incredible feat.”

Unfortunately, Pimentel said the manufactured votes from these areas have all been carried out into Zubiri’s running total through their respective provincial COCs.

But fortunately, he said the national canvass is still ongoing and he and his lawyers have filed the necessary petitions with Comelec-NBC to retabulate the votes in these areas using the election returns.

“We can only hope that the Comelec will be fair to us by giving us our ‘day in court’ to prove these petitions and not hastily proclaim just any 12th placer,” Pimentel said.

Other statistically improbable results due to “dagdag-bawas” operations that were discovered by the Pimentel camp are as follows:

· In Salvador , Lanao del Norte, Zubiri obtained 15,797 votes or 85.52 percent of the 17,646 registered voters while Pimentel was credited with only 402 votes.

· In Sultan Kudarat, Shariff Kabunsuan, Zubiri garnered 33,888 votes or 87.62 percent of 38,672 voters who cast their ballots while Pimentel received only 2,791 votes. The number of voters who cast their ballots was an unbelievably high 98.34 percent of the 39,326 registered voters.

· In Datu Blah Sinsuat, Shariff Kabunsuan, Zubiri obtained 7,105 votes or 86.67 percent of 8,198 registered voters while Pimentel got only 2,833 votes. The voter turnout was 99.94 percent of the 8,203 registered voters.

· In Kabuntalan, Shariff Kabunsuan, Zubiri received 5,465 votes or 79.92 percent of the 6,838 voters who voted while Pimentel was credited with only 426 votes.

· In Lutayan, Sultan Kudarat, Zubiri obtained 23,452 votes or 91.80 percent of 25,546 voters who cast their ballots while Pimentel received only 10,580. The voter turnout was 97.16 percent of 26,291 registered voters.

· In Maguindanao province, Zubiri garnered 195,823 votes or 91.97 percent of 212,921 registered voters while Pimentel received only 67,111 votes. Nineteen senatorial candidates from GO and other parties obtained zero vote.

Earlier, attempts at wholesale cheating in North and South Cotabato by the administration camp were exposed at the national canvassing.

In North Cotabato , Zubiri’s votes of approximately 143,000 were inflated to 265,000 while Pimentel’s votes of approximately 140,000 were reduced to 95,000. In South Cotabato , Zubiri’s votes of 141,674 were increased to 218,664 while Pimentel’s vote total was left untouched. These attempts at wholesale cheating were caught and nullified by the Comelec.

Pimentel has filed electoral sabotage charges against the provincial election supervisors and other election officials who were responsible for the vote padding and shaving scam in North and South Cotabato

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