ABSENTEE VOTING COULD CAUSE MASSIVE CHEATING -- BONGBONG  

Laoag City, Feb. 28, 2003 -- Ilocos Norte Gov. Ferdinand Marcos Jr. is worried that the Absentee Voting Law for overseas Filipinos would merely be made an instrument for cheating in the elections.

Marcos, in an interview with the Tribune yesterday, said politicians in power will have an "easy" opportunity to commit fraud as Filipinos overseas would have to cast their ballots in Philippine embassies in the countries they are in abroad.

Marcos stressed that ballot boxes snatching and switching usually happen within 10 meters from a voting center and amid the presence of poll watchers and Commission on Elections personnel. If that can happen, he said, it would be easier for the ballot boxes abroad to be manipulated before they are shipped back to the country for canvassing.

Marcos is also pessimistic on the government's ability to successfully implement the absentee voting process abroad to allow some seven million Filipinos in various countries to vote. He said the government has not even been able to implement the necessary changes to improve and modernize the local election process. (Tribune)


Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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