PALACE  TO  OPPOSITION:  STOP  DELAYING COUNT
 

MANILA,  JUNE 3, 2004
(STAR)
By Marvin Sy  -  Malacañang urged the opposition yesterday to stop "stonewalling" the canvassing of votes for presidential and vice president, even as it welcomed a statement by the Roman Catholic hierarchy that the May 10 elections were generally honest and peaceful.

In a statement, Presidential Spokesman Ignacio Bunye called on Congress anew to speed up the canvassing of votes.

"We are all for a fair, honest and transparent canvassing of votes, and we must not test the patience of the people to know the truth. Public conscience should prevail among all leaders who are genuinely concerned about the good of our nation," he said.

Bunye observed that the opposition appeared to be running out of delaying tactics in the face of "growing recognition" here and abroad that the past elections were fair.

"The growing recognition among various sectors, domestically and internationally, of the legitimacy of the elections should encourage a faster count in Congress and temper the stonewalling of the opposition," he said.

Both administration and opposition members of the Senate and the House have expressed confidence that they can proclaim the new president by June 30 when the term of the incumbent expires.

But numerous motions raised by congressmen identified with the Koalisyon ng Nagkakaisang Pilipino (KNP) have stalled the canvassing.

The KNP has also filed a petition before the Supreme Court to stop the canvassing because of its objections over the creation of the canvassing committee.

Presidential campaign spokesperson and concurrent Housing Secretary Michael Defensor appealed to the opposition not to peddle their accusations before the media but to show solid proof of cheating.

He noted how a presentation of election documents from Cebu and Maguindanao became a source of embarrassment for the opposition after it was proved they weren’t tampered.


Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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