Monday, May 28, 2007

Lanao del Sur polls ‘chaotic and intense’ – Namfrel chief

While there were no fatal incidents reported, the National Citizens Movement for Free Elections (Namfrel) refused to agree to police reports that the recent special elections held in 13 towns of Lanao del Sur were generally peaceful.

Namfrel Chairman Edward Go told reporters on Monday that he witnessed how the Lanao Sur elections were conducted and found it marred by disorder. He said polls in some towns, especially in Kapay, “were chaotic and intense."

“People were lining up to vote. They were shouting, pushing and shoving. It seems everybody wanted to vote first. What was the motivation? I don’t know," Go said during a press briefing at the La Salle Greenhills in San Juan.

Go described the situation in Kapay during the day of the special polls on May 26, as “very intense." “Comparing the election day in Manila, the situation in Kapay was very very far. Napakatensiyunado ng mga tao," he said.

He however forgot the name of the school where the special polls in Kapay was held but he said he “will never forget" what he had experienced there, especially the incident when some “personalities" barred Namfrel volunteers from entering the polling precinct.

The Namfrel chief also said he met Sen. Rodolfo Biazon in Lanao del Sur, the day after the elections. He said Biazon told him about the difficulties that his party encountered in getting copies of election returns (ER). “Sen. Biazon told me that they have not obtained the copies of ERs for the Liberal Party, (though it was the) minority party (acknowledged by the Comelec)." - Fidel Jimenez, GMANews.TV