In a four-paragraph statement issued Saturday (May 19), Fr. Eduardo Tanudtanud, OMI, chair of Namfrel Maguindanao and Shariff Kabunsuan, said they will exclude the results “in view of what we perceive as systematic withholding of ERs to Namfrel that casts doubts on the integrity of the 6th copy of the election returns. “
Tanudtanud said that until today, Namfrel-Maguindanao has not received the 6th copy of ERs from Maguindanao’s 22 towns.
Namfrel volunteers, he said, reported that except for members of the Board of Election Inspectors (BEIs), “no other persons or organizations, including Namfrel volunteers, were allowed access to the centralized counting of votesfor all municipalities in the Maguindanao Provincial Capitol.”
The volunteers, he added, “were told that municipal election officers issued a verbal order to withhold release of all copies of the ERs, including Namfrel’s 6th copy. In most cases, municipal Comelec officers did not recognize the appointment of our Namfrel municipal chairpersons.”
Maguindanao election supervisor Lintang Bedol could not be reached for comment. But provincial administrator, Engr. Norie Unas, who on Wednesday noon was deciding on who may or may not enter the provincial capitol where the venue of provincial canvassing was held, told MindaNews in a telephoned message, that Namfrel “didn’t even bother to field anyone.”
Maguindanao delivered 12-0 in favor of Team Unity, with Ilocos Sur governor Luis “Chavit” Singson surprisingly leading and Sultan Jamalul Kiram, a fellow Muslim, barely making it to the first 12, as of Wednesday noon.
The provincial board of canvassers was reported to have completed the canvassing Thursday evening.
Maguindanao has the highest voter turnout nationwide, at 93.5% , with 199,037 out of 212,795 registered voters. Datu Unsay appeared to have the highest at 99.78%. Of its 10,172 registered voters, only 22 did not vote.
In the final tally, as authenticated by Bedol, Singson still ranked first with 196,157; followed by Miguel Zubiri, 195,823; Tito Sotto, 195, 575; Ralph Recto, 195,454; Edgardo Angara, 195,171; Joker Arroyo, 194,803; Prospero Pichay, 194,571; Mike Defensor, 194,028; Cesar Montano, 88,751; Vic Magsaysay, 87,236; Tessie Aquino-Oreta, 87,053; Jamalul Kiram, 86,122. All 12 are from Team Unity.
Genuine Opposition’s Francisco “Chiz” Escudero got 85, 037; Manny Villar (GO), 82,735; Loren Legarda (GO) 70,138; Gregorio Honasan (Ind) 69,613; Koko Pimentel, (GO) 67,057; and Francisco Pangilinan (Ind) 52,355.