K-4  PRESSES COUNTER-ATTACK  TO CHEATING RAPS  VS  KNP
 

MANILA,  May 31, 2004
(MALAYA)
The ruling K-4 yesterday pressed its counter-attack to cheating allegations of the KNP attack by alleging election fraud committed by KNP candidates, field workers and supporters.

Among those implicated in alleged poll irregularities was Rep. Didagen Dilangalen who the K-4 said seized three ballot boxes from a polling place in Notre Dame, Cotabato City. Dilangalen justified his act saying he was making a "citizen's arrest" to show that cheating was being committed against his party.

The KNP also yesterday said it has mobilized lawyers and paralegals to collect evidence of massive poll frauds in cities and provinces for presentation to Congress during the canvassing.

The K-4 Also alleged that:

* In Pasay City, supporters of K-4 mayoral candidate Ricardo Santos apprehended seven persons who were trying to smuggle out 11 sets of election returns from the Cuneta Astrodome which was used as a polling center. The suspects were nabbed with the help of Marines while they were about to board a Toyota Revo with the stolen election returns.

* In Aurora province, K-4 gubernatorial candidate Edgardo Ong, assisted by policemen, recovered 67 ballot boxes stashed inside an ice plant in Casiguran town. The ice plant is reportedly under the control of KNP mayoral candidate Henerias Estevez.

* In Zamboanga del Sur, residents reported terrorism and massive vote-buying by KNP local bets in the towns of Lakewood, Lapuyan, Bayog, Kumalarang, Pitogo, Dinas, Gulpos and Margosatubig.

* In Lapuyan, the family of a Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrat was massacred. A K-4 barangay captain in Dumalinao town and a councilman in Bayog were killed by men identified with local KNP candidates.

* In Antique, two Lakas-CMD leaders were also reported killed in Laua-an town, while the house of a local K-4 leader was torched in Caluya.

* In Columbio, Sultan Kudarat, Lakas-CMD members, four Lakas-CMD volunteers were killed while trying to foil an attempt to snatch 21 ballot boxes .

The FPJ legal panel, headed by former Commission on Elections chairwoman Harriet Demetriou, said their evidence will dwell on "dagdag-bawas," bloating of voters' lists, erasures and tabulation errors, and instances of "statistical impossibility."

Members of the Lawyers for Electoral Advancement and Democracy for Freedom, Prosperity and Justice (LEADFPJ) said they have gathered election returns and statements of votes which contained erasures and obvious inconsistencies specially in places where President Arroyo was reported to have obtained big majorities, such as Cebu, Iloilo, Pampanga, Lanao del Norte, Lanao del Sur and Maguindanao. In some of these places, they said, Poe and other presidential bets received zero, which the KNP considered "improbable."

In Cebu, the KNP noted, the number of registered voters was increased by 36 percent from the 2001 to 2004, an improbable figure in the light of the 19 percent of voters from 36.4 million to 43 million as reported by the Comelec.

In Davao del Norte, the number of registered voters also increased by 27 percent, much higher than the supposed national average, said LEAD.

The KNP will present today 25 certificates of canvass (COCs) coming from areas where the KNP candidates won but lost in the counting because of "dagdag-bawas" (vote adding/shaving) operations by the Arroyo camp.

The 25 COCs cover some two million votes, more than enough to overcome the one million votes lead claimed by President Arroyo.

KNP lawyers Rufus Rodriguez and Avelino Cruz had earlier showed COCs whose entries are different from original and authentic COCs and statements of votes.


Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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