‘Mindanao polls marred by fraud’

MINDANAO supporters of the Liberal Party were accused of engaging in massive election irregularities in the region during the May 9 elections and that affected the votes for national candidates, especially in the presidential and vice presidential race.

In the weekly news forum at Anabel’s Restaurant in Quezon City, two members of the Alyansang Duterte-Bongbong (Aldub), revealed several incidents of electoral fraud in Basilan in the recently concluded elections.

Aldub is a group of supporters named after presidential candidate Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte and vice presidential bet Senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr. 

Not really a free election. Mindanao residents, who are also supporters of vice presidential candidate Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos Jr., related the irregularities they witnessed during the elections in Basilan, Lanao del Sur and Maguindanao at a news forum in Quezon City. Also at the forum was former senator Aquilino ‘Nene’ Pimentel who spoke about the federalism proposal of the incoming Duterte administration. MANNY PALMERO
Victor Abillo and Abdurasad Teodoro, provincial coordinators of Aldub in Basilan, said their watchers in Basilan towns reported that many voters were prevented from casting their votes by armed men who controlled the precincts.

“There were no elections in many places in Basilan because people were prevented from voting and were told there would be no voting even if it was just six in the morning,” Abillo said.

In many of these areas, he pointed out, all the presidential and vice presidential candidates except the tandem of Liberal Party candidates—former Interior and Local Government secretary Manuel Roxas II and Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Robredo—had zero votes.

Abillo and Teodoro said three other witnesses can attest that no voting was done in many parts of Basilan and witnesses were willing to execute sworn affidavits.

Abillo also presented the sworn affidavit of a winning councilor, Amina Muarip, who stated that she and her supporters were prevented from voting in Barangay Candiis in Hadji Mohammad Ajul in Basilan by LP supporters.

“The supporters of the Liberal Party in precincts 27A, 27B, 28A, 29B and 30A orchestrated the locking of the votes in favor of all the candidates of the Liberal Party,” Muarip said.

“The supporters of the Liberal Party also gave the amount of P1,000 to the voters of Barangay Candiis, Hadji Mohammad Ajul to vote for the candidates of the Liberal Party, which acts obviously constitutes a violation of the Omnibus Election Law and other existing laws in the election,” she added.

She also witnessed the same LP members handpicked people in their precincts to shade ballots. 

“That another fraud was committed during the election was the shading of the ballots by random people who were handpicked by the supporters of the barangay captain of  Candiis to vote for the candidates of the Liberal Party.”

Muarip added that poll watchers of the Nationalist People’s Coalition and Nacionalista Party were also prevented from entering the precincts. Because of intimidation employed, Muarip said she and her supporters were not able to vote anymore.

She later learned, much to her surprise, that she won as councilor in her town.

Abillo said Muarip could have easily turned a blind eye to the electoral fraud in her town because she won in the election, but she decided to expose the violations in order to let the whole country know the kind of system that was employed in her province.

He added a number of witnesses from other provinces, like Lanao Del Sur and Maguindano, are willing to surface because they would like to change the system in their province. 

Two witnesses of wholesale ballot shading in Datu Saudi Ampatuan, Maguindanao also surfaced before the media showing video footages of the ballot shading in favor of Robredo.

Bassir Utto, who ran for vice mayor under the United Nationalist Alliance, and his watcher Normina Taha said they were prevented by supporters of incumbent LP Mayor Samsudin Dimaukom from entering their precincts. They alleged that LP supporters also engaged in ballot shading in favor of Robredo.

Abillo then urged the Commission on Elections to immediately investigate the allegations of cheating in many areas in the country.

Topics: Mindanao polls , poll fraud , Liberal Party , Alyansang Duterte-Bongbong , Aldub , Rodrigo Duterte , Ferdinand Marcos Jr.
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