Monday, May 21, 2007

Pres. Arroyo courting greater political disaster by trying to squeeze in losing Team Unity candidates into the Top 12

Monday May 21, 2007

Pres. Arroyo courting greater political disaster by trying to squeeze in losing Team Unity candidates into the Top 12

Anakpawis and political detainee Crispin Beltran today decried the continued fraud being perpetrated by the Macapagal-Arroyo administration against the bloc of progressive party-lists and the senatorial candidates of the Genuine Opposition, namely Aquilino 'Koko' Pimentel Jr; Antonio Trillanes and Alan Peter Cayetano. He said that the undeniable case of government and military-orchestrated fraud that has been exposed by a teacher in Maguindanao is most likely not an isolated and singular case and has been perpetrated many instances all over the country.

"The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) have once more taken the lead at implementing Malacanang's fraud operations, this time to benefit the senatorial candidates of Team Unity. The blatant use and abuse of military authority during the elections is already criminal; the fact that the AFP actually coerced civilians to perpetuate fraud is even more punishable by law. AFP chief of staff Hermogenes Esperon and defense secretary Hermogenes Ebdane cannot shake responsibility for this. It's the world of civilians against theirs and the troops they deployed to carry out their electoral fraud tasks," he said.

"We cannot allow Malacanang to succeed in squeezing in its loser Team Unity candidates into the Top 12 and edge out the rightful winners of the elections who belong to the Genuine Opposition. Neither should it be allowed that Malacang's front party party-lists including Bantay led by the infamous butcher Jovito Palparan gain a stolen and fraudulent victory."

"Pres. Arroyo is only courting even greater political disaster if she insists on getting her allies into the senate and congress through fraudulent means. The consequences on her already highly unpopular rule will be catastrophic. More scandals, more exposes, and more political chaos will ensue," he said.

Use findings of the IOM

Beltran said that the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) must conduct full investigations into the revelations of independent clean elections watchdogs such as the Parish Pastoral Commission on Responsible Voting (PPCRV) and the findings of the independent foreign observers missions such as the People's International Observers Mission (People's IOM) because their findings give flesh to the allegation that the Arroyo government has utilized the military to implement massive fraud against the progressive party-lists and the candidates of GO.

"It's an international scandal the way these countless incidents of undeniable electoral fraud were allowed to take place, and their effect unchecked. The desperation of the Macapagal-Arroyo administration to bar candidates of GO from securing their rightful seats in the senate and to kick then progressive party-lists out of congress has been exposed for all the world to see, yet the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) has done nothing beyond issuing promises that there will be investigations," he said.

"The findings of the international observers of the People's IOM are substantiated with photos and testimonies the observers took from the polling centers and the provinces they visited. These should further goad the COMELEC into taking more decisive action and help in the investigations that should have long before started. Even the low-level implementers of fraud should not be allowed to get away – they will inevitably help lead us to the masterminds, and no doubt the trail will lead all the way to Malacanang," he concluded. #


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