BANGON SEES NO CLEAR PROOF OF  POLL  FRAUD

MANILA,  May 31, 2004
(STAR)
By Edu Punay  -  While it has documentary evidence of possible instances of fraud, the Bangon Pilipinas Movement (BPM) of televangelist Eduardo Villanueva still cannot prove that the fraud in the May 10 elections was widespread.

BPM officials and volunteers are still collecting evidence of fraud "because what they have do not prove the gravity of the fraud they claim," a STAR source revealed.

The BPM has joined the Koalisyon ng Nagkakaisang Pilipino (KNP) and the poll watchdog group Patriots in attacking the past elections as tainted by widespread cheating.

The STAR source, said to be a BPM insider, claimed that the BPM was having a hard time gathering evidence of fraud because it lacks the legal manpower of the KNP.

"They have more lawyers than we do," said the source.

The source added that even with its better resources the KNP had yet to present conclusive proof of fraud.

So far the BPMs most dramatic proof of fraud is a video footage of the overseas absentee voting (OAV) in Hong Kong. The footage was shown to reporters last Thursday at the BPM headquarters in Makati City.

In the footage, an unidentified male election official is shown taking a peek inside a folded ballot before placing it in a brown envelope.

While the absentee voting law allows such a procedure, "the sanctity of the vote" was violated since the ballot was read "out loud," said a BPM media bureau staffer, Anthony Cruz.

BPM officials said that they received the video two weeks ago from an undisclosed source who personally took the footage.

But The STAR source was doubtful if the footage qualified as proof of large-scale fraud: "A video footage from an unidentified source in Hong Kong is not tantamount to massive cheating."

The source also dismissed BPMs "Operation: Be Counted" as proof that the party needs more proof to back up its claims. To entertain walk-in reports of fraud, the BPM has set up booths outside the Batasang Pambansa, where Congress is set to canvass the votes for president and vice president.

In public, top officials of the BPM remained firm in their stance that the elections were marred by fraud.

Spokesman Luis Sison said that the BPM intends to consolidate its evidence with evidence from other groups like the KNP and Patriots.

Another source said that the BPM will present another video allegedly showing the fake elections used in the canvassing of votes.


Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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