Koko Pimentel to file complaint questioning Zubiri’s proclamation

“I don’t think this is going to be a prolonged inquiry because it will focus mainly on what happened in Maguindanao,” Senate Minority Leader and Aquilino Pimentel Jr. and Koko’s father today said in a statement, adding he expects the complaint to be settled in six months.

“What happened in Maguindanao is this: When provincial election supervisor Lintang Bedol was summoned by Comelec to Manila and asked about the municipal certificates of canvass, at first he said they had been stolen. About 10 days later, he gave another statement. The COCs were not stolen, but only missing. If they were stolen, it would be very difficult to recover them,” he added.

“About a month later, the COCs surfaced. The Election Code requires that there should be 7 copies of the COCs. But only one copy was produced. And that copy was supposed to be posted on the bulletin board. Comelec has no copy. Neither did the National Movement for Free Election, Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting and the political parties receive their copies of the COCs,” he noted.

“On the only copy that surfaced, why was it unusually clean? I would say this outright, they had been made clean because under the law, if it was clean and there were no erasures, you are not supposed to question it anymore,” Pimentel said.

The senator also noted that in the original copy of the provincial COCs, and as stated by Bedol himself, the senatorial candidate who emerged number one in Maguindanao was Chavit Singson by obtaining 196,000 votes out of 211,000 voters.

“But after Singson conceded defeat, Zubiri came out as number one with 195,000 votes – equivalent to a conversion rate of 97 percent which he was not able to do in Bukidnon, his home province, where he was political kingpin where his conversion rate was only 69 percent,” he said.

He compared Zubiri’s conversion rate to those of Senators Loren Legarda and Francis Escudero, who had a conversion rate of only 60 percent in even in places where they topped the senatorial election.

“The net effect is that tampered COCs from Maguindanao were used as basis for proclaiming Zubiri as winner. The manipulation of the Maguindanao results could not have been done without the complicity of Comelec.

“We bring this out to the attention of our people because we should not countenance such wrong doing. All the time before the Maguindanao votes were counted, Koko was leading Zubiri by about 137,000 votes. And if you would count Zubiri’s 195,000 votes against Koko’s 68,000 votes in Maguindanao, naturally he would be overtaken by Zubiri,” he said.

In the same statement, the senator said his son trounced Zubiri in the special election held in Pantar, Lanao del Norte on July 23, 2007.

Based on the election results from 38 polling precincts, Koko reportedly obtained 2,435 votes against Zubiri’s 936 votes.

The senator claimed election officials and administration political operators tried to tamper with the poll results in Pantar in an apparent bid to shave Koko’s vote count.

”When the votes were about to be canvassed at Camp Tipanoy, Iligan City, the municipal board of canvassers stopped the canvassing allegedly because there were no national tally sheets. Consequently, the canvassing was delayed by five hours,” he said. (MindaNews)