In a press statement, Pimentel said they have “started gathering evidence on the rigging of election results in Maguindanao to produce a 12-0 score in the senatorial race in favor of (the Administration’s) Team Unity.”
Pimentel said the evidence will be used by GO’s legal team to file criminal charges “against people who conspired to carry out the massive cheating operations, including the election operators, and field officials of the Commission on Elections.”
He did not name any of them.
“We will sue the election operators who clearly manipulated the Maguindanao canvass, Comelec officials who worked with them and officials of the board of canvassers who looked the other way while massive fraud was being done,” he said.
MindaNews sought Engr. Norie Unas, Maguindanao administrator, to comment on Pimentel’s statement and to give an update on the canvassing. He told MindaNews afternoon of May 17 that the canvassing is “almost done” but did not say how many of the five remaining towns as of noon of May 16, had been finished by the Provincial Board of Canvassers (PBC).
As of noon of May 16, the Provincial Board of Canvassers had yet to get the certificates of canvass from the towns of Talitay, Buldon, South Upi, Mangudadatu and the vote-richest town of Shariff Aguak, capital of Maguindanao and hometown of the ruling Ampatuan clan.
The PBC resumed session when the Talitay certificates arrived.
Unas said the GO may have difficulties defending their allegations on electoral fraud in Maguindanao but anyway, “kung ganoon gawin nila, wala kaming magagawa kundi depensahan sarili namin (if they do that [sue], we have no recourse but to defend ourselves).”
On Wednesday in Shariff Aguak, he told MindaNews they succeeded in getting a 12-0 sweep because they focused their campaign on a 12-0 sweep.
He said non-Moro voters may not understand it but “there is a command vote” in Maguindanao and other parts of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), he said.