Exclusion of ‘fraudulent’ Maguindanao canvass sought

Jun. 27, 2007

MANILA — Bayan Muna will ask the Commission on Elections National Board of
Canvassers to exclude all canvass reports from Maguindanao which the
partylist group dubbed as fraudulent and a not reflective of the true
will of the Maguindanao voters.

“The many serious irregularities, anomalies and acts of fraud in the
Maguindanao special canvassing, including but not limited to massive
vote padding in sixteen municipalities and the refusal of the special
canvassers to make the municipal canvassers explain why it took them
so long to submit the municipal canvass reports are enough reasons to
exclude and set aside the alleged Maguindanao certificate of canvass,”
said Bayan Muna lawyer Neri Javier Colmenares.

Colmenares said that “as things stand, the so-called municipal
certificates of canvass being tabulated in Shariff Agsuak are
counterfeit and cannot by any stretch of the imagination be considered
the will of the people of Maguindanao.”

“Including this fake Maguindanao canvass will critically impair the
credibility of the 2007 election results for national positions,” said

According to Colmenares, partylist votes were padded in a massive
scale in the following sixteen Maguindanao towns with a total of
185,463 registered voters: Ampatuan, Datu Abdullah Sangki, Datu Anggal
Midtimbang, Datu Piang, Datu Saudi Ampatuan, Datu Unsay, Gen. S. K.
Pendatun, Guindulungan, Pagagawan, Paglat, Pandag, Rajah Buayan, South
Upi, Sultan sa Borongis, Talayan and Talitay.

“We are sure that voters in Maguindanao also reject these counterfeit
and manufactured municipal certificates of canvass. We compared these
with statements of votes and found that in many precincts, the total
partylist votes exceeded the total number of registered voters,” said

“All these special and municipal canvassers will have to face the
consequences of cheating the people of Maguindanao of clean and
credible tallies of their votes at the municipal and provincial
levels,” said Colmenares. “They are all liable for electoral

The crime of electoral sabotage includes acts committed by canvassers
who tamper, increase or decrease the votes received by a candidate in
any election and its penalty is life imprisonment. Offenders are
charged of violating Section 42 of Republic Act 9369 and Comelec
Resolution 7859 which define electoral sabotage.

“Most of these questionable votes and votepadding went to Biyaheng
Pinoy, Bigkis Pinoy, Kasangga, ARC, Akbayan and ANC,” said Colmenares.

Colmenares said that the second copies, not the fourth copies, of the
municipal certificates of canvass were used in the special canvassing.
“The second copies were supposed to have been posted for public
viewing but we found no markings or signs that they were posted.
Meanwhile, we did not find the fourth copies which should have been in
the possession of the municipal canvassers.”

Bayan Muna, Anakpawis, Gabriela, Kabataan and Suara Bangsamoro have
filed similar electoral sabotage charges against canvassers in
Caloocan City, Kalinga, Zamboanga Sibugay and Zamboanga del Sur where
votepadding also occurred.

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