Pimentel asks: Was Sarmiento forced to resign?

“Sarmiento’s resignation as head of Task Force Maguindanao proves the blatancy of the cheating perpetuated by the administration at the expense of clean and honest elections,” Pimentel said in a press statement.

“There is no reason for his resignation but the pressure from cheaters, abetted by government figures so great he couldn’t live with it with clear conscience,” he said.

Commission on Elections chair Benjamin Abalos denied pressures forced Sarmiento to resign.

Citing health reasons, Sarmiento on Monday resigned as head of Task Force Maguindanao.

Pimentel reminded the Comelec that the nation “expects nothing less than a no-nonsense inquiry into the massive dagdag-bawas operations in Maguindanao in the wake of testimonies by witnesses, including members of boards of election inspectors, that no actual voting occurred in many towns, ballots were filled a day before the May 14 elections, and election returns were fabricated with the knowledge and participation of election supervisors.”