Press Release
June 20, 2007


Senate Minority Leader Aquilino Nene Q. Pimentel, Jr. (PDP-Laban) today asked non-government organizations involved in monitoring special elections in several towns in Mindanao to watch out for the movements of a person who was used by the administration in the 2004 elections.

Pimentel said he was told that the golden arm, identified as Edwin Abucayan, was the same person who was contacted by First Gentleman Jose Miguel Arroyo during the 2004 elections.

I ask the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV), National Movement for Free Elections (Namfrel), Legal Network for Truthful Elections (Lente) and the mass media to monitor the suspicious travel today of the golden arm from Kitaotao, Bukidnon to Lanao and other places where special elections are being held, he said.

Abucayans travel was facilitated by a Team Unity bet, according to information that reached the Genuine Opposition.

Pimentel expressed fear that the outcome of the special elections will be manipulated unless the dubious activities of people like Abucayan are foiled.

Meanwhile, Pimentel denounced the blatant attempt to falsify the results of the election in Sumisip, Basilan to bloat the number of votes of TU senatorial candidate Juan Miguel Zubiri and to decrease the number of votes for GOs Aquilino Koko Pimentel III.

Based on the municipal certificate of canvass prepared by the board of canvassers in Sumisip, Koko Pimentel obtained 5,418 votes and Zubiri, 5,173, indicating that the former won by 245 votes.

But in the municipal COC submitted to the provincial board of canvassers of Basilan, the figures were altered by making it appear that Zubiri garnered 21,170 votes and Pimentel, 11,418. Thus, it was made to appear that Zubiri won by 9,752 votes.

We denounce whoever perpetrated this fraud, Sen. Pimentel said.

Subsequently, the Pimentel camp was informed that Atty. Faisal Paditi, Basilan provincial election supervisor, made the necessary corrections upon being informed the anomaly.

Sen. Pimentel said the falsification of election results in Sumisip town showed the extent of dagdag-bawas operations being carried out by fraud syndicates and the administration to get Koko out of the winning column.

Similar vote padding and shaving operations were also uncovered by the opposition and poll watch groups in Maguindanao, North Cotabato, South Cotabato, Davao del Sur, Davao City, Lanao del Norte, Lanao del Sur, Sultan Kudarat, Sharif Kauswagan, Sulu and other areas.

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