Day after Philippines elections, Kontra Daya calls on increased public vigilance
May 15, 2007 MANILA — The watchdog group Kontra Daya called on the public to exercise greater vigilance in the next few days as the canvassing of polls begin. The group said that “dark forces are working overtime to once again subvert the people’s vote.”
“The elections have been marred by violence, confusion and chaos. These are precisely the conditions favorable for wholesale electoral fraud. Kontra Daya is particularly worried about cases of ballot snatching and failure of elections that have happened in several provinces throughout the country,” said Kontra Daya Convenor Fr. Joe Dizon.
“What we are witnessing are incidents reminiscent of the snap elections under the Marcos dictatorship. Intimidation of election officials and poll watchers are being done at the precinct level. Armed goons are snatching ballot boxes or terrorizing election officials such that no elections will take place. This is the type of scenario that the cheating operators thrive on. The cheaters are going to take advantage of the general confusion and fear among voters and local election officials,” Dizon added.
News reports indicate that there were failures of election in at least 14 towns in Lanao del Sur where the total voters affected would reach 100,000. Violence or threats of violence were the reasons cited for the stopping of the polls.
“The last thing we want to see now is a repeat of the 2004 fraud operations in Mindanao which would be crucial in influencing the outcome of the national elections. It is a known fact that characters associated with the Garci recordings, such as incumbent ARMM election officer Rey Sumalipao, are now occupying more strategic positions in Mindanao,” Dizon said.
Kontra Daya also cautioned other election watchdogs from prematurely absolving the Comelec and the Arroyo government from any liability with regards to the problems in the recently concluded polls.
“We cannot just be giving our government agencies pats on the back. As expected, the government refuses to accept the gravity of the problems on election day. The PPCRV and Namfrel should also be circumspect in giving the elections their seal of approval,” Dizon said.
Kontra Daya continues to upload its running account and election monitor through its blog www.kontradaya.wordpress.com and through the website powered by bayan.ph