Villar to benefit from poll fraud, says LP
By Edith Regalado
The Philippine Star
DAVAO CITY , Philippines – Former Defense Secretary Avelino “Nonong” Cruz said Nacionalista Party standard-bearer Sen. Manuel Villar is poised to benefit from the suspected massive poll fraud that would be done in the May 10 elections.
Cruz, who heads the Liberal Party’s vote protection team, said there are clear indications that there would be cheating in the coming elections as the Commission on Elections (Comelec) has failed to put in place the necessary safeguards to ensure that there would be a clean and honest conduct of the first-ever automated polls.
“The secret candidate of the administration would benefit from it,” said Cruz, emphasizing that Villar is the secret candidate of the administration and that former Defense chief Gilbert Teodoro is candidate of the Lakas-Kampi-CMD party but not necessarily that of President Arroyo.
Cruz said no funds have been coming from the leadership of the Lakas-Kampi-CMD for the candidacies of actor Edu Manzano, who is running for vice president, their senatorial bets as well as for those running for local offices.
Cruz said everybody in Lakas is complaining of lack of funds, which shows that the President has another preferred presidential candidate.
Cruz further said that even if the President has not raised Villar’s hand, still it is very evident that he is her secret candidate.
The former defense chief said that there have been disturbing events that showed theer would be cheating in the May 10 elections.
“The marked security features of the ballots like the ultraviolet markings which the PCOS (precinct count optical scan) machines should read have not been put in place. These and other safeguards for the ballots have not been implemented. I can see that there is really an attempt to cheat in the elections,” Cruz said.
He also lamented that the Comelec insists on an audit of all the PCOS machines used two weeks after the elections.
“Why two weeks when by then there would already be a declaration of winners. The audit should be done right then and there after the election itself or else there would be chaos,” Cruz further said.
He also pointed out that Comelec should also print tally sheets for manual count should the automated elections fail.
He stressed that there are three critical dates to watch out in order to stop the suspected poll fraud, one of which is the period from May 4 to 7, in which the 75,000 PCOS machines are expected to be delivered to the precincts.
Meantime, LP vice presidential candidate Sen. Manuel Roxas told newsmen in Dagupan City yesterday that the public remains hopeful that they will be given a chance to express their sentiments through the forthcoming elections.
“That’s why this election must not be maneuvered, it must be credible,” he said.
He also urged the Comelec to work overtime to finish the ballot printing on schedule. – With Eva Visperas