ZERO VOTE STATISTICALLY POSSIBLE, SAYS COMELEC COMMISH BORRA

MANILA,  May 17, 2004 (STAR) By Jose Aravilla  -  It is not statistically impossible for a candidate to get zero votes in any area, even for someone as popular as Fernando Poe Jr. himself, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) said yesterday.

Comelec Commissioner Resurreccion Borra said that based on a Supreme Court ruling, what is statistically impossible is having more voters in a certain place than the actual number of registered voters.

Opposition senatorial candidate Francisco Tatad earlier showed reporters copies of the certificates of canvass (COCs) from Sto. Tomas, Pangasinan showing Poe, standard-bearer of the opposition, and other presidential bets with zero votes. President Arroyo, on the other hand, obtained 5,470 votes there.

Not a single vote went for Poe in the towns of Ampatuan and Datu Piang in Maguindanao, Tatad also noted with suspicion.

The former lawmaker added he does not believe Poe received only 0.17 percent of the total votes cast in seven towns in Maguindanao.

Tatad also earlier cited a 1966 Supreme Court ruling that it is "statistically impossible" for a candidate to get zero votes in an election.

But Borra refuted Tatad’s claim using plain and simple logic. "If some people do not like you in that precinct, why would you force the people to vote for you?"

"There are several voting precincts in one town or municipality," Borra added.

The opposition earlier warned that Poe’s supporters would launch a barrage of street protests amid allegations of "vote-massaging" by the administration.

Poe has appealed for sobriety but Tatad said not even the actor, famous for portraying roles that appeal to the masses, can stop his followers from taking it to the streets.

Sen. Edgardo Angara, executive chairman of the Koalisyon ng Nagkakaisang Pilipino (KNP), has said they will wait for the final results of the vote count before making the next move.

He said Poe himself advised the KNP leaders to wait for the final count and gather as much evidence of fraud as possible.


Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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