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Beltran Asks Help of Media, Watchdogs to Monitor Partylist Race

May. 15, 2007

MANILA — Anakpawis Representative and political detainee Crispin Beltran today said sought the attention and assistance of the media in monitoring the developments in the party-list race, saying that that relative lack of coverage of the party-list elections renders the progressive party-lists vulnerable to the government’s scheme to cheat the party-lists.

Beltran asked the help of media institutions as well as the PPCRV and NAMFREL in monitoring the vote turn out for the bloc of progressive party-lists led by Bayan Muna, Anakpawis and Gabriela Women’s Party.

“We have reason to be apprehensive over this lack of coverage of the party-list polls and its results. It’s not just the votes of the candidates of the Genuine Opposition (GO) which are being targeted, but ours, too. It’s no secret that the Macapagal-Arroyo government is desperate to have our party-lists kicked out of congress and hence weaken the opposition in the House of Representatives,” he said.

“The votes of our party-lists are highly vulnerable despite the thousands of volunteers we have fielded in the poll centers. We need the help of the media and the independent institutions of the PPCRV and the Namfrel to monitor the party-list election results and to report the various tactics being employed to steal our votes in favor of the government-funded party-lists,” he added.

The activist lawmaker said that the votes of the progressive party-lists were also threatened by the ubiquitous presence of the military particularly in the provinces. “Our volunteers are being harassed and driven away from the polling centers by the military and their civilian operatives. We ask the help of the PPCRV as well as other independent clean-election watchdogs to report these attacks. There are many vote-counting areas wherein our volunteers cannot immediately reach because of the military checkpoints. Even now there is the certain danger that our votes are not being counted in our favor but added to the votes of the Malacanang-front party-lists,” he said. #

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