LP looking into poll fraud plot – Noynoy
The Philippine Star
February 23, 2010
MARILAO, Bulacan , Philippines – The Liberal Party is looking into a reported plot to cheat in the May 10 elections.
Speaking to reporters, LP standard bearer Sen. Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III said reports indicate a plan to “influence the outcome of the elections,” but he declined to elaborate.
He said they were gathering evidence of the alleged plot, but declined to give details.
Speaking at a rally, Aquino asked his supporters to campaign for him and his running mate, Sen. Manuel Roxas II, to widen their lead and make cheating impossible.
His 11 percent lead over Nacionalista Party standard bearer Manuel Villar Jr. based on the latest survey should be “20 percent or better, 30 percent,” he added.
Aquino said the LP would rely on volunteers to help protect their votes.
The LP does not have the money to buy votes and perpetrate fraud, he added.
Aquino met over 100 volunteers, including 18 provincial coordinators of the newly organized PiNoy Lawyers, which held its first general assembly in Pasig last Saturday.
Former defense secretary Avelino Cruz Jr. Cruz heads the LP vote protection efforts, Aquino said.
He expressed concern over reports quoting poll watchdog Kontra-Daya that at least two million ballots for the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao were printed without security features.
“The security marks have been a constant feature for so many past elections,” he said.
“They should take responsibility for that, to send a message that they (Comelec) will not tolerate such actions.”
Roxas said it was highly unusual how the printing machines bogged down when printing the ARMM ballots from Feb. 7 to 15, and then started working again in printing the next batch of ballots.
The LP would not tolerate any cheating in the elections, he added.
Roxas chided the Commission on Elections (Comelec) for its indifference to the blunder.
It should have insisted on the reprinting of the ballots instead of allowing Smartmatic-TIM to simply put ultraviolet signs on the ballots as security marks, he added.
Roxas said without the necessary security markings, it would now be easy to duplicate the ARMM ballots by simply using the right printer and paper.
“We all have to be vigilant,” he said.
“This administration will do everything to prevent the forces of change from prevailing in the elections.”
In previous elections, fake ballots were given to voters and those with security markings were filled up by flying voters and used in the counting of votes in some ARMM provinces, Roxas said.
The ARMM has 1,731,199 voters, or 3.4 percent of the country’s total of 50,723,734 million registered voters.
Meanwhile, Aquino said if elected president, he would make public the Mayuga report, which refers to the findings of a panel tasked to look into alleged cheating in the 2004 elections. – Aurea Calica