MANILA,  May 5, 2004
Former world bowling champion Olivia "Bong" Coo dared yesterday action star Ramon "Bong" Revilla Jr. to take a lie-detector test so the public would know the truth behind her allegations that he tried to bribe her with P20 million.

"I am willing to undergo a lie-detector test," Coo told reporters yesterday. "I challenge you to do the same so the public will know who is telling the truth."

Meanwhile, Coo, senatorial candidate of Alyansa ng Pag-asa, asked the Supreme Court yesterday to stop the Commission on Elections (Comelec) from implementing a resolution allowing "Bong" votes on May 10 to be counted in favor of Revilla, a candidate for senator of the pro-administration Koalisyon ng Katapatan at Karanasan para sa Kinabukasan (K-4).

In her petition, Coo questioned the "validity and legality" of Resolution 6713, which the Comelec promulgated last April 28, a day after the administration had allegedly threatened to harm her and her family if she would not give way to Revilla.

"Resolution 6713 is illegal and issued with grave abuse of discretion," read the petition. "Respondent Comelec acted in complete violation of petitioner’s rights as a duly registered candidate."

Coo said the Comelec failed to notify her about the issuance of Resolution 6713 in "deliberate disregard" of her petition of April 27 seeking to ask the poll body to count in her favor "Bong" votes on May 10.

"Wala namang sinasabi sa akin na merong ibang petition na gagawin ang Comelec," she said, expressing surprise there was another resolution allowing Revilla to change his nickname from "Kap" to "Bong." "Kaya nagulat na lang kami na lumalabas yung kanilang (resolution) na binigay kay Bong Revilla ang karapatan na (ipalit ang Bong sa ‘Kap.’)"

Coo also said the period for changing the nickname listed on the certificate of candidacy had lapsed last Jan. 5 as contained in Resolution 6479.

"Despite publication of Resolution 6558, respondent Revilla did nothing to claim ‘Bong’ as his legal nickname or stage name, and instead maintained ‘Kap’ as nickname or stage name in his approved certificate of candidacy," read the petition.

"Through private respondent’s fraudulent manipulation and the Comelec’s hasty and precipitate accommodation, all ‘Bong’ votes will now be appropriated by Revilla who until 28 April 2004 campaigned as ‘Kap.’

"Due to urgent circumstances, petitioner is compelled to immediately file this petition and to pray that the Honorable Court immediately issue a temporary restraining order or status quo order to prohibit respondents (Comelec and Revilla) from disseminating or implementing Resolution 6713."

Coo said she is the only one who listed the nickname "Bong" among the 48 candidates for senator in the May 10 elections.

"As bowling hall of famer, Bong Coo has been and is, up to this time, popularly known, both locally and internationally, as ‘Bong’ or ‘Bong Coo,’" read the petition.

"In write-ups or articles in national and foreign newspapers and/or magazines, she has been and (is) generally and popularly known as ‘Bong’ or ‘Bong Coo’ ... Hence, all such votes under the senatorial slot written as ‘Bong’ should likewise belong to and be counted in favor of the petitioner."

While Coo was filing her petition, about 50 of her supporters gathered outside the Supreme Court and chanted "Idol ko si Bong Coo."

It was a takeoff from "Idol ko si Kap," the title of a television sitcom starring Revilla as a barangay chairman in Metro Manila.

Nic Gatmaitan, Coo’s lawyer, said there was a "premeditated scheme" to railroad the proceedings as Revilla asked the Comelec to change his nickname through "a letter of request," not a petition to avoid the due process requirement that Coo be notified.

Coo had accused Revilla of trying to bribe her with P20 million in exchange for her withdrawal from the senatorial race.

Revilla countered that it was Coo who had demanded P20 million from him, a Ford F-150 van, and the chairmanship of the Philippine Sports Commission.

In response, Coo called Revilla a liar.

"I have no reason to do that," she said. "I don’t sell myself. I’m an athlete and I never sold a game."

Coo also accused Gabriel Claudio, presidential adviser for political affairs, of urging her to back out of the elections in exchange for the post of presidential adviser for sports.

Last April 27, a member of the Presidential Security Group threatened her and her family with harm if she would not withdraw from the elections, she added. — Sheila Crisostomo, Aurea Calica

Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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