Sunday, May 27, 2007

Comelec should acknowledge chaos and violence on Lanao del Sur special polls instead of covering up the situation with empty assurances

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Comelec should acknowledge chaos and violence on Lanao del Sur special polls instead of covering up the situation with empty assurances

Detained Anakpawis Rep. Crispin Beltran today said that the ongoing chaos in Lanao del Sur over the special polls is what perfectly characterizes the May 2007 elections. Fraught with fraud and violence, the election in Lanao del Sur is a record all by itself.

"It's shocking to hear officials of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) describe the elections as generally peaceful when it was anything but. The results of the Lanao del Sur polls should not be credited. The entire special elections were a failure because chaos, fraud and violence reigned supreme. How the Comelec could proclaim the polls a success is yet another testament to the sorry state of the commission and the orientation of some of its officials," he said.

"Instead of trying to sweep everything under the rug , the Comelec should acknowledge everything that went wrong and from there, begin to devise measures that will ensure that the same will not take place again come the next elections. Issuing false assurances and understatements to describe what has actually been a chaotic situation in Lanao del Sur does not do any good for anyone, especially the voters there. The poll results would hardly be credible given the completely chaotic conduct of the elections."

The activist lawmaker said that the failure of the polls in many areas in the Philippines proves how intense the political rivalry is at the local levels. "Local candidates have been able to build up their own machineries that include private armies or groups of armed goons with ties to the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) or the Philippine National Police (PNP). The illegal conduct of the supporters and head campaigners of certain local candidates as well as the backers of the Team Unity administration team continued unchecked because of this. The presence of the media did not even deter them their mission to perpetuate fraud," he said.

In the meantime, Beltran said that the Comelec should set a more realistic time table as to when it will proclaim the winners of the senatorial race. "It's beginning to appear that the Comelec is only waiting for more candidates of the administration's Team Unity to break into the Top 12 as the government's fraud operations go into final, full-blast stage. We hope that chairman Benjamin Abalos will not be precipitate in declaring the winners given that there are countless accounts of fraud that continue to be exposed. Candidates Antonio Trillanes III and Aquilino 'Koko' Pimentel III's rightful victories are being threatened because of the massive cheating that's being perpetrated even at national canvassing level," he said.

Beltran said that topmost priority of the incoming senate and congress would be to conduct an investigation into the chaos and violence of the May 2007 elections, and the performance of the Comelec and its officials from the regional to the national levels.

"Elections in the Philippines will always be a messy, violent and fraudulent affair so long as the will that drives the Comelec is the will of corrupt national executive and administration,' he said. "Elections in the Philippines can never be insulated from fraud if those in the commission itself have political interests or ties with the ruling election contenders," he said. #


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