Bedol had claimed that he could not produce the municipal certificates of canvass (COCs), statements of votes (SOVs) and other documents on the results of the May 14 polls in the province because they were stolen from his office.
The Comelec office in Maguindanao is on the ground floor of the heavily-guarded Provincial Capitol in Shariff Aguak town.
In a press statement, Pimentel said he suspects “Bedol merely concocted the tale” that the COCs were missing “because he is afraid that the presentation of these documents before the National Board of Canvassers (NBCs) would show that they had been falsified or manufactured to reflect a 12-0 victory for Team Unity senatorial candidates.”
“I am both amused and outraged by Bedol’s explanation that the election documents were not only missing but had also been stolen. I believe he just invented his explanation,” he said.
Pimentel’s son, Aquilino III, is presently hanging on the 12th spot with TU bet Juan Miguel Zubiri on the 13th slot.
Pimentel said it took Bedol so long to report the documents were stolen and he did so only after he “mysteriously disappeared for several days and ignored the summons of the NBC (National Board of Canvasser) to appear before it and before the special board of canvassers created to conduct a new tabulation for the whole province.”
Pimentel said the fact that elections were held in Maguindanao “is proven by the proclamation of the winning candidates of governor, vice governor and members of the provincial board and congressmen of Maguindanao and for mayors, vice-mayors and councilors in various municipalities.”
He said the only legal and logical option for election authorities is to “nullify and set aside the fraudulent election results in Maguindanao and to proceed with the proclamation of the last two winning senatorial candidates” and for the parties who wish to protest to “formally file their protest with the Senate Electoral Tribunal.
Pimentel estimated the cost of a special election in Maguindanao at between P13 to P15 million.