MANILA,  May 8, 2004
By JP LOPEZ  -  The "cheating" machinery that would ensure the victory of President Arroyo in Monday's elections is in place with the DILG as lead agency, the Koalisyon ng Nagkakaisang Pilipino said.

KNP senatorial bet Ernesto Maceda told a press conference in Makati that Interior Secretary Joey Lina and his predecessor, Ronaldo Puno, would oversee the vote-padding/shaving operations which are allegedly funded by Mike Arroyo, the President's husband.

Maceda said this information was fed to him by DILG officials.

Maceda was a former chief of presidential assistance for community development, the forerunner of the DILG.

Maceda said Mr. Arroyo was in Davao three to four days ago to discuss the scheme with Comelec supervisors.

He said DILG personnel would substitute manufactured municipal election returns for the genuine documents and transmit these to Manila.

Maceda said he has been told by Camarines Sur Rep. Noli Fuentebella and Archbishop Leonardo Legaspi that Comelec Chairman Benjamin Abalos and Commissioner Virgilio Garcillano have assigned a team of encoders to the office of Camarines Sur Gov. Luis Villafuerte to undertake the vote-shaving scheme.

Maceda also said the printing of official ballots has moved from Manila to Davao and Cebu and is being done outside the National Printing Office.

"At this point it's really too late for us to prevent the printing. But then we appeal again to all - the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting, the Namfrel and the Guardians - to make sure that the overprinted ballots ay di makakalusot na pumasok sa ballot boxes, or to be substituted for real ballots," he said.

KNP spokesman Miguel Romero also revealed that registered voters in KNP bailiwicks have been shuffled to different precincts.

He said Laguna Rep. Joaquin Chipeco informed him that the shuffling of list of registered voters is being done in his district.

Romero cited one precinct which has only 1,000 registered voters but now has 24,000 due to the scheme.

KNP lawyer Raul Lambino said in Pangasinan and other parts of Northern Luzon, considered as KNP bailiwicks, the Board of Election Inspectors have been ordered by municipal election officers not to count ballots having initials of candidates.

"The target is FPJ because FPJ initials is used as a nickname in the certificate of canvass," he said.

Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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