The NDF said Philippine elections have always been “rotten, bloody and dirty" and attributed it to a "degenerating rotten system beset by a chronic and worsening social, political and economic crisis.”
The NDF called on all "sincere officials" of the Comelec in various regions in Mindanao to "fight systematic fraud" allegedly perpetrated by the Arroyo administration.
"We appeal to them to bravely oppose and help frustrate the fraudulent schemes of the Arroyo government as it desperately clings to the seat of power and resorts to most corrupt, most dirty and most repressive ways just to ensure the victory of her bets and candidates this coming elections," Jorge Madlos or "Ka Oris", NDF spokesperson for Mindanao, said in statement to MindaNews dated May 8 but released only on May 11.
The 10-paragraph statement entitled "A call for sincere officials of Comelec" came on the heels of what the NDF called "numerous reports of dirty manipulations and maneuvers in the conduct of the 2007 elections"
Earlier this week a group calling itself Bantay Boto revealed “Oplan Mercury Rising,” supposedly a plan to ensure a 12-0 victory for the administration's Team Unity candidates.
The NDF said the manipulations are already happening “in many places in Mindanao and throughout the country, even weeks before election day."
Military and police officials told reporters Friday soldiers were deployed to back policemen who are assigned to guard the region’s 1,440 polling centers.
They said the reported presence of the communist-led New People's Army in 33 towns of the region was the reason for the massive troop deployment.
The NDF cited reports of rampant vote buying, manipulation of lists of registered voters, presence of flying voters, delivery of extra ballot boxes and alleged harassment and threats against "local bureaucrats" who are inclined to drop Arroyo's candidates.
The underground alliance also referred to the alleged cheating in the 2004 presidential elections by President Arroyo who it said lost in all major cities in Mindanao, even in Lanao del Norte which she claimed to be her second home province.
"The ‘Hello Garci’ tapes remain a strong testament against Mrs. Arroyo's thievery of the people's votes," it said.
The group also said "people power" would possibly happen in the event of a rigged election. It cited the massive cheating during the snap presidential elections in February 1986 which led to the ouster of President Ferdinand Marcos.
The group in a separate statement urged voters to junk TU candidate and Surigao Rep. Prospero Pichay, whom they accused of being an Arroyo lapdog. (Walter I. Balane/MindaNews)