Sunday, May 20, 2007

Statement of Namfrel on Maguindanao Quick Count

Earlier this week, it was reported that Gloria Arroyo's Senatorial slate Team Unity (TU) achieved a 12-0 victory over the Genuine Opposition (GO) in the southern province of Maguindanao. Below is a statement from the National Movement for Free Elections (NAMFREL), a citizen's watchdog group tasked with conducting a 'quick-count' of the just concluded elections:
"From: "Namfrel National Secretariat"
Sent: Saturday, May 19, 2007 6:52 PM
Subject: Official statement of Namfrel-Maguindanao on the Quick Count of Elections in the Province of Maguindanao

To date, NAMFREL-Maguindanao does not have NAMFREL's 6th copy of election returns from 22 municipalities of Maguindanao. Our volunteers reported the following:

1. Except for members of the Board of Election Inspectors (BEI), no other persons or organizations, including NAMFREL volunteers, were allowed access to the centralized counting of votes for all municipalities in the Maguindanao Provincial Capitol.

2. Our volunteers were told that municipal election officers issued a verbal order to withhold release of all copies of the ERs, including NAMFREL's 6th copy. In most cases, municipal COMELEC officers did not recognize the appointment of our NAMFREL municipal chairpersons.

Since our quick count is based on the NAMFREL copies which were not made available to us, NAMFREL-Maguindanao will not be able to announce quick count results for the elections in the province. In view of what we perceive as systematic withholding of the ERs to NAMFREL that casts doubts on the integrity of the 6th copy of the election returns, we will still not include the Maguindanao results in our quick count even if they are not[sic] made available to us in the following days.

May 19, 2007, Cotabato City.

(Sgd.) Fr. Eduardo G. Tanudtanud, OMI
Chairman, NAMFREL Maguindanao and
Shariff Kabungsuan
This is just one of the more glaring examples of the Gloria Macapagal Arroyo Administration's cheating machinery at work.

No comments: