Pimentel’s call for Comelec exec’s relief hit

In an e-mail to MindaNews Saturday, Melcar Unso said Pimentel’s accusation "jumps the gun on something based on malicious rumors and speculations"

"While we respect the views and opinions of anybody, relieving a public official from his post is tantamount to crucifying him for a crime he did not commit," Unso said.

Pimentel's office in a press release Friday revealed the senator urged Comelec Chairman Benjamin Abalos to relieve Tambuang over his supposed involvement in alleged vote-padding and shaving "special operations" in Davao City.

Pimentel said he was informed Tambuang allegedly instructed his subordinates to pad the votes of certain Team Unity senatorial candidates.

The senator alleged there was a clear plan to carry out special operations the aim of which was to make it appear that eight TU candidates have won in Davao City and the provinces of Region 11.

Lawyer Irma Vera Morcillo, BOC chair for Davao City, stood by her board members saying no cheating occurred and that it was only “clerical error.”

Unso cited the investigation conducted by Commissioner Romeo Brawner's representative, lawyer Belen Carasig, and Mayor Rodrigo Duterte’s pronouncement ruling out any "dagdag-bawas" scenario.

Unso said Pimentel should have waited for an investigation before calling for Tambuang's relief.

He said the board of canvassers submits to a mix of government agencies, not
just to the Comelec regional director.

He said the Comelec will not gain anything from deliberately committing fraud.

But Tambuang in an earlier interview with MindaNews seriously took Pimentel's accusation.

"The senator must have basis for his accusations. He is a senator. In his stature, he must have basis for what he is saying," he said of Pimentel's accusation of poll fraud in Davao City.

Pimentel's son, Aquilino III, is among six candidates who gained at least 100 votes more in Davao City's recount this week.

The local chapter of election watchdog Lente of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines has ruled out cheating as the cause of tally discrepancies in Davao City and accepted the BOC's explanation that it was only a clerical error. (Walter I. Balane/MindaNews)