Press Release
January 18, 2010


     Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago warned that preparations are underway for widespread electoral fraud in the May 2010 elections, either by violence or by tampering of ballots.

     Santiago cited two "disturbing" developments, the first of which she said is the transfer to the PNP Metro Manila headquarters, specifically the Special Action Force, of heavy firepower and urban armored capability recalled from all over the country.

     "There seems to be an effort to create a political situation where armored confrontation is highly probable. This seems to be the basis of recent PNP orders relating to ordnance and armaments. This is highly suspicious," she said.

     Specifically, the senator said that this involved the recall of the following: armored units from Mindanao; all crew-served weapons, such as Cal. 50 and Cal. 30 machine guns; and of 2,000 units of modern sniper rifles.

     "All the bells and whistles are ringing. It is in Metro Manila that the PNP fighting capability is being concentrated. It is also in Metro Manila where financial resources have been recently generated. The PNP technical units in the field are demoralized. Something is definitely going on," the senator said.

     Santiago said the second disturbing development is the ongoing transfer of police chiefs in targeted provinces such as Pangasinan, Cavite, Bataan, Nueva Ecija, Zambales, Leyte, etc.

     "This transfer of police chiefs is illegal. Under R.A. No. 8851 or the Police Reform Act of 1998, the mayor has authority to recommend to the provincial director the transfer, reassignment, or detail of PNP members outside of their respective city or town residences. The mayors' recommendations were not sought, thus resulting in illegality," she said.

     Santiago, a former judge, said the illegal transfer of police chiefs before the campaign period constitutes the crime of unlawful appointment under the Penal Code, Art. 244.

     Santiago said she has warned President Gloria Arroyo of these two disturbing developments, and that the President seemed to be unaware that these developments are taking place.

     "These developments were caused by DILG Sec. Ronaldo Puno, who is ex-officio Napolcom chief with administrative control over the PNP. He seems to be acting on his own," she said.

     As promised to the Senate media, Santiago delivered yesterday a privilege speech where she accused Puno of simultaneously peddling himself as a kingmaker to the Lakas-Kampi, Nacionalista, and Liberal Parties

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