Philippines: Printing anomaly may open floodgates for wholesale electoral fraud

Apr. 11, 2007

News Release
April 10, 2007

Printing anomaly may open floodgates for wholesale electoral fraud

The anti-fraud group Kontra Daya picketed the National Printing Office today to protest what it called the anomalous presence of a private printer in the NPO which has been linked to election anomalies in 2004.

Kontra Daya previously revealed that the Grand C Graphics printer is now operating inside the NPO and printing Election Returns and Certificates of Canvass. The anti-fraud group said that news reports have previously tagged Grand C Graphics as being involved in the printing of fake ERs during the 2004 elections.

The Comelec has justified the presence of the private printer in the NPO, saying that the government printer was allowed to enter into a lease agreement with accredited private printers for the production of election paraphernalia.

Neither the NPO nor the COMELEC has disclosed any details of any lease agreement entered into by the government printer.

The private printer is also believed to be behind the recent errors in the printing of at least 1,300 pads of ERs.

A private printer previously assailed for its alleged role in the 2004 electoral fraud now operating inside the NPO is definitely a cause for alarm. This can very well be another leakage that election cheaters can take advantage of, said Kontra Daya convenor Fr. Joe Dizon.

Having a private printer produce sensitive election materials such as ERs and COCs is too big a risk to take, especially given our experience in 2004. The ERs and COCs are key to wholesale election fraud. The private printing of election paraphernalia, whether inside or outside the NPO, may just prove to be the loophole needed by the wholesale cheaters, Dizon said.

The anti-fraud group plans to bring its demands to newly appointed NPO chief Enrique Agana.

The new NPO chief must at least show transparency when it comes to these matters of great public interest. He should show the public a copy of the contract or lease agreement with Grand C Graphics, Dizon said. ###

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