List of vote-buy­ing solons sought

Con­gress­men ask Diño to show proof link­ing law­mak­ers to elec­tion fraud

Manila Bulletin - - Front Page - By BEN R. ROSARIO and CHITO A. CHAVEZ

Law­mak­ers have de­manded that In­te­rior and Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment Un­der­sec­re­tary Martin Diño per­son­ally pre­sent to the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives the list of 100 con­gress­men al­legedly in­volved in vote-buy­ing dur­ing the Barangay and Sang­gu­ni­ang Ka­bataan (SK) elec­tions and ex­plain how he ar­rived at this con­clu­sion.

Ad­min­is­tra­tion and op­po­si­tion con­gress­men chided Diño for is­su­ing press state­ments link­ing solons to elec­tion fraud but with­out even of­fer­ing any ev­i­dence to back his ac­cu­sa­tions.

“That’s quite a reck­less state­ment com­ing from an of­fi­cial of the ex­ec­u­tive de­part­ment. He should show proof,” said Mi­nor­ity Leader and

Que­zon Rep. Danilo Suarez.

In a priv­i­lege speech on Wed­nes­day, Deputy Speaker and Batan­gas Rep. Ra­neo Abu de­manded that Diño be sum­moned to pre­sent the list of in­volved House mem­bers and ev­i­dence to sup­port the ac­cu­sa­tions.

Abu said me­dia re­ports have Diño ac­cus­ing at least 100 con­gress­men and 1,000 lo­cal gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials of in­ter­fer­ing in the re­cently held Barangay and SK elec­tions by fund­ing vote-buy­ing ac­tiv­i­ties.

Abu said the House should not al­low Diño to en­gage in grand­stand­ing to prop up his im­age at the ex­pense of mem­bers of the cham­ber.

As­sis­tant Mi­nor­ity Leader and AKO Bi­col Rep. Al­fredo Garbin ad­mit­ted that there may be some politi­cians who sup­ported barangay can­di­dates but “not to the ex­tent of vote-buy­ing.”

“What Diño stated is a ma­li­cious and reck­less im­pu­ta­tion against con­gress­men. He should back up his al­le­ga­tions with ev­i­dence,” said Garbin.

For his part, As­sis­tant Mi­nor­ity Leader and ABS Party-list Rep. Eu­gene de Vera stressed that no po­lit­i­cal party will place its po­si­tion in jeop­ardy, adding that politi­cians are fully aware that barangay elec­tions are non-par­ti­san.

Mak­abayan bloc and Mag­nif­i­cent Seven law­mak­ers also is­sued strong con­dem­na­tion of Diño’s ac­cu­sa­tions.

“Bet­ter for USec Martin to name names of in­volved in these men­tioned elec­tion ano­ma­lies. TraPo at its work again,” Gabriela Party-list Rep. Emmi de Je­sus said.

On the other hand, Ak­bayan Rep. Tom Vil­larin told Diño to “let his hands do the talk­ing not his mouth.”

Vil­larin, a mem­ber of the Mag­nif­i­cent Seven, said the DILG of­fi­cial has the re­spon­si­bil­ity to file cases against elec­tion law vi­o­la­tors.

“The DILG should know bet­ter and be pre­pared to pre­vent or even mit­i­gate these things from hap­pen­ing prior to the elec­tions through a vig­or­ous in­for­ma­tion drive about the non-par­ti­san na­ture of barangay elec­tions. Hindi yung tapos na at saka ka mag ngan­gawa,” Vil­larin said in a state­ment. Vote-buy­ing cases to Com­elec Mean­while, DILG As­sis­tant Sec­re­tary and spokesman Jonathan Malaya said vote-buy­ing in­ci­dents and other vi­o­la­tions in the re­cently con­cluded elec­tions were al­ready for­warded to the Com­mis­sion on Elec­tions (Com­elec).

“We have for­warded all the re­ports to Com­elec which has the mandate to in­ves­ti­gate and hold ac­count­able all in­di­vid­u­als, in­clud­ing gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials, who con­tra­vened elec­tion laws, rules and reg­u­la­tions,” Malaya said.

He noted that the re­ports was re­ceived by the de­part­ment from con­cerned cit­i­zens from all over the coun­try through the of­fice of Diño.

“We are pleased that our vot­ers are now more vig­i­lant and pro­tec­tive of their rights. We thank them for the re­ports we have re­ceived which we are now for­ward­ing to the Com­elec,” he added.

Malaya said re­ports were trans­mit­ted to the Com­elec for in­ves­ti­ga­tion and ap­pro­pri­ate le­gal ac­tion.

The DILG has de­ferred to the Com­elec on how it would act on cit­i­zens’ re­ports re­ceived by Diño re­gard­ing gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials since that is within the mandate of the com­mis­sion.

Malaya said the DILG has con­tin­u­ously been in close co­or­di­na­tion with the Com­elec as the de­part­ment vowed to pro­vide the needed as­sis­tance against lo­cal of­fi­cials com­mit­ting elec­tion-re­lated vi­o­la­tions.

He also clar­i­fied that it is within the mandate of the Com­elec to is­sue sanc­tions against mem­bers of Congress vi­o­lat­ing elec­tion laws.

All win­ners pro­claimed

Mean­while, all the win­ners in the May 14 elec­tions have al­ready been pro­claimed three days af­ter the elec­tions, Com­elec spokesman James Jimenez an­nounced Thurs­day.

“Re­gard­ing the procla­ma­tions, we’re at 100 per­cent as of 4:30 a.m. to­day (Thurs­day),” he said.

The procla­ma­tion in­volved only 41,943 barangays in the coun­try. No elec­tions was, how­ever, held in Marawi due to the pre­vail­ing con­di­tions there.

Ear­lier, Jimenez ex­plained that the procla­ma­tion was pro­longed be­cause of the man­ual sys­tem.

“It’s a man­ual elec­tion. We’ve ob­served that the can­di­dates are par­tic­i­pat­ing, es­pe­cially in the count­ing process,” he said ear­lier.

“One of the main fea­tures of man­ual vot­ing, the bal­lot can be con­tested down to the last bal­lot. There is a cost on the time spent,” Jimenez added.

In man­ual polls, the count­ing of votes is also done man­u­ally which be­gins at the close of vot­ing pe­riod at 3 p.m. The Board of Elec­tion Tell­ers, mostly teach­ers, will read out the votes writ­ten on the bal­lots aloud, one at a time while one of the elec­tion work­ers tal­lies down the votes as they are called out. (With a re­port from Les­lie G. Aquino)

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Philippines

© PressReader. All rights reserved.