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Relampagos Cries "Dagdag-Bawas"
« on: May 21, 2007, 05:39:42 PM »
Former Gov. Rene Relampagos made public his allegations of blatant fraud committed during the canvassing of votes in the third congressional derby which comprises the biggest voting district in the province.

Relampagos, LDP, who run for congressman revealed that he "won the elections, but he just want to know where and how he was cheated."

The categorical statement of the former governor came after he alleged of highly irregular conduct in the municipal board of canvassers in the towns of Loay, Sierra-Bullones, Pilar and Alicia.

He cited the case of Loay, his hometown, wherein the certificate of votes showed him leading over proclaimed winner, Rep-elect Adam Jala by 2,300 votes. However, when the final tally was done, his lead was reduced to a little over 800 votes.

Relampagos likewise alleged that his supporters in Sierra-Bullones town were intimidated narrating voters' testimonies that they were blocked on the way to the precincts in order for them to forcibly pass by the residence of vice mayoralty bet Fredo Gamalo. He said that these intimidations could confirm an earlier survey result which showed that 90% of the people in S-Bullones refuse to answer questions when asked by the Holy Name University Bohol Poll on their voting preference. The HNU survey conducted third week of April is an indication that people there are afraid to "voice out their preference on whom to vote on election day."

Relampagos, during a radio interview said a certain Kag Ending Coja in Pilar reported that Rep. Eladio Jala, father of newly elected solon was seen at the area where the canvassing of votes was conducted. In fact, the solon went inside the SB session hall together with Ms. Sopsop of the municipal board of canvassers. The same report was true in Carmen town, he alleged.

The former governor also reported that four precincts in S-Bullones town had their certificate of canvass of votes not released despite several requests made by his watchers. The S-Bullones board of canvassers delayed the release of the four precincts which was also confirmed by NAMFREL in the city. His watchers were surprised since the COC was given to a represenative of a senatorial candidate who visited the area earlier in the day,. But, when the watcher of Relampagos asked for a copy of the COC, he was flatly denied.The COC was released late afternoon of Thursday.

Lawyer Lord Marapao IV told the Chronicle that they filed electoral protests with the provincial board of canvassers. However, Comelec Supervisor Veronico Petalcorin did not find time to look into the protest papers saying that it should have been filed with the municipal board of canvassers.

The Relampagos counsel asked the Comelec official to just manifest in writing that the protests were submitted and duly noted by him. Petalcorin declined to put into writing and instead asked the counsel to just look at the minutes of the proceedings which were not available until yesterday.

Marapao also reported that in Pilar only 13 election returns were made available, out of the 66 precints in the area.

He said there was a pre-proclamation controversy which erupted last Thursday but Petalcorin did not suspend the proceedings of the canvass.

For his part, Rep-elect Jala bared during a radio interview that they did not violate any election rule while assuming that he will be abiding with what the Comelec prescribes. If the election protests were being "noted" by the Comelec supervisor then Petalcorin has the legal reasons why it has to be conducted that way, Jala stressed.

During the early input of election returns tabulated by NAMFREL, Relampagos made an uptrend lead.He was also a consistent survey leader in two surveys conducted by the Hol;y Name University Research Center

In the final tally, Jala garnered 65,081 votes while Relampagos pooled 62,106 votes.

--------- published in the Bohol Chronicle - 5/20/2007

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