Thursday, May 03, 2007

Comelec must not restrict the use of digicams and cellphones on May 14; anti-fraud volunteers to rely on said gadgets to monitor developments

Thursday May 3, 2007

Comelec must not restrict the use of digicams and cellphones on May 14; anti-fraud volunteers to rely on said gadgets to monitor developments in the poll precincts

Anakpawis Representative and political detainee Crispin Beltran today expressed opposition to the Commission on Elections' restrictions on the use of digital cameras and cellular phones in the voting precincts. Beltran said that the anti-election fraud watchdogs were relying on these handy gadgets to help monitor the developments in the precincts, especially when the vote counting and canvassing begins.

"It's most surprising that the Comelec should just now come up with these apprehensions. If there's anything that should not be allowed and even banned from the voting precincts and their immediate vicinities, it's the Armed Forces of the Philippines. They're a greater threat to the credibility of the upcoming elections that cellphone cameras or digicams," he said.

"It's the likes of Pres. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo who should be kept away from her cellphone on May 14. We don't want a repeat of the 'Hell, Garci?' scam wherein she will call the Comelec commissioners and ask for updates and at the same time demand that the results be rigged in favor of her candidates."

Beltran said that there should be no restrictions on the use of the said gadgets especially if they're going to be wielded and used by clean elections volunteers of the church-based Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV).

Beltran is the chairman of Anakpawis Party-List and its first nominee in the party-list elections.

"There is the serious need to protect the elections against the sure attempts of the administration to cheat. There are already blinding signs that there's a fraud campaign in the works. Malacanang is desperate to quash all chances of the opposition securing a majority seats in the senate and from filling more seats in congress. Pres. Arroyo has an almost phobic fear of impeachment, and the surest way to evade impeachment is to fill both houses of congress with her allies,' he said.

"We want to be able to constantly and closely monitor what's happening at the polling precints. We are also on the lookout for violence. The presence of the military is a serious threat against the safety and security of the volunteers and supporters of the progressive party-lists, and we are determined to maintain close tabs on the actions and whereabouts of the military on election day. We will do this with cellphones and digicams,' he said.

Anakpawis and its sister party-lists Bayan Muna and Gabriela Women's Party (GWP) continue to lead in the surveys, the latest conducted by Pulse Asia. Beltran said that it will only be through the massive disenfranchisement of their supporters through various means of fraud that the progressive party-lists will be denied their three seats each. #


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