Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Namfrel documents 'rampant' poll fraud in Lanao del Sur

The National Movement for Free Election (Namfrel) appealed to the Commission on the Elections (Comelec) to investigate election-related irregularities the poll watchdog documented in the towns and cities of Lanao del Sur.

In a report distributed to media on Tuesday, Namfrel alleged that vote buying was rampant in the province. The election watchdog claimed that each voter is bribed P 20 to P300 in exchange for voting a councilor, board member, representative or governor.

Namfrel said vote-buying for the mayoral position was much higher, ranging from P 1,000 to P7,000.

The group's volunteers also observed that ballot boxes and other election paraphernalia were outside the polling precincts of Bacolod Kalawi town.

The report added that Namfrel’s volunteers were denied access in the polling precincts of Pikong, Malabang, Kalanugas and Maging towns. They were also allegedly barred from entering the Lanao del Sur provincial capitol and the Mindanao State University (MSU) compound in Marawi City, were canvassing of votes took place.

Namfrel volunteers also claimed that they were denied of copies of certificates of canvass in Lanao del Sur municipalities.

One of the volunteers was reportedly mauled inside the MSU while tabulation was going on May 15, the report said.

The report was signed by Hadji Abdulla Dalidig, Namfrel’s provincial chairman in Lanao Sur; Mama Palawan, Namfrel’s chair in Marawi; Atty. Nasser Marohomsalic, of Lente, legal arm of Namfrel; Salic Ibrahim of C-Care Lanao Sur; Atty. Abdulbayan Balt, former labor secretary in ARMM.