Howard Calleja

Religious leader’s name listed twice as Davao voter

Religious leader’s name listed twice as Davao voter
By Christian V. Esguerra
Philippine Daily Inquirer

MANILA, Philippines—Is Pastor Apollo Quiboloy, an influential religious leader courted by several presidential candidates, a “flying voter?”

Documents gathered by the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV) showed that Quiboloy’s name was among some 40,000 voters entered as “double, multiple, or dead registrants” for the May 10 elections.

The number represented questionable voters in Davao City and Davao del Sur alone, according to PPCRV lawyer Howard Calleja, who called on volunteers nationwide to examine the official “posted computerized voters’ list” (PCVL) in their areas.

In Davao City, Calleja said his group had uncovered at least 940 “zombies” or deceased people still registered as active voters.

“This should serve as a wake-up call,” he told the Philippine Daily Inquirer in an interview Sunday. “Let us fix the voters’ list because this is one way of cheating in this election.”

Calleja is set to file this morning a manifestation urging the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to clean up all PCVLs around the country with two months to go before the local and national elections.

He will bring to the Comelec office copies of the 40,000-plus bogus entries which, he said, could still rise once the PPCRV volunteers in Davao completed their investigation.

On the Davao list, copies of which were shown to the Inquirer, two voters were registered as Apollo Carreon Quiboloy with the same birthday of April 25, 1950.

But one was a voter in Barangay Buhangin Poblacion in the second district, while the other resided in Barangay Tamayong in the third district.

“How could this happen?” Calleja asked. “That’s what we call a double registrant.”

‘Son of God’

It’s unclear if the Quiboloy referred to on the list is the same man who claims to be the “Appointed Son of God” heading the religious group called “Kingdom of Jesus Christ, The Name Above Every Name.” The group reputedly has 6,000 members.

Leading presidential candidates are courting Quiboloy and have reportedly agreed to attend a debate to be hosted by the group on March 9 at his nine-hectare compound called “Prayer Mountain” in Davao City.

Calleja said the case of Quiboloy and of thousands of other names on the Davao list could have been the result of an error or meant that someone was “using” them for possible cheating.

Malicious plot

“Double registration doesn’t necessarily mean that it was their fault,” he clarified. “I’m not saying that they did something wrong.”

But many other cases were indicative of what Calleja called a “malicious” effort to manipulate the election results.

One woman was registered as Imelda Ape Ababa, born Oct. 14, 1966, and a resident of Barangay Marapangi in the third district. But another entry carried the same birthday and practically the same name—only that “Imelda” was listed as the last name.

Such was also the case of Margie Abellana Uyanguren who appeared on the same list as Margie Uyanguren Abellana. Both of them were born on June 1, 1978, and resided in Barangay Cabantian in the second district.

But one of them was a registered voter in precinct 1837A while the other was in 1842A.

Scrambled names

“This is funny. They just rambled the names,” Calleja said.

Calleja said other entries contained subtle differences in information, but were detected by PPCRV volunteers anyway.

Two persons were registered as Oscar Castro Carsido. But one of them was born on June 1, 1950, and the other, the following year. One was a resident of the first district while the other lived in the second district.

“They just changed the birthday by one year, in some cases, by one month or by how many days. Obviously in cases like this, you’d think something’s fishy,” Calleja said.

The lawyer pointed out that the estimated 40,000 bogus entries on the Davao voters’ list could “make or break a local election.”

Assuming that such a number also existed in other provinces, he said the total could reach more than three million votes nationwide, which would be enough to manipulate the results of even the presidential race.

“We’re letting all election officers nationwide know that they should not fool around because we’re watching them,” he said.