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Whistleblower, judge vouch for Macarambon’s integrity

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/02 November) -- The appointment of Moslemen Macarambon, Sr. to the Commission on Elections has been met with mixed reactions from various civil society groups.

So divided are the views of civil society that a fiery whistleblower is willing to stand by him before the Commission on Appointments while others see his appointment as another attempt of Malacanang to control the election process.

GMA names Moslemen Macarambon, Sr. as Comelec Commissioner

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/02 November) – President Arroyo has named Moslemen Macarambon, Sr., to the Commission on Election, to fill in one of two seats vacated by Mehol Sadain and resigned Comelec chair Benjamin Abalos.

Macarambon, whose curriculum vitae shows he served as executive assistant of the Senate Electoral Tribunal from 1988 to 1989 and was appointed by President Arroyo as presiding judge of the Regional Trial Court in Iligan City on October 3, 2003, was not on the shortlist Malacanang submitted earlier for the poll body for comment.

DepEd exec hits Comelec anew over special holiday

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/05 August) – The declaration of Friday last week as a special holiday to enable students to go home and register for the Sangguniang Kabataan elections disrupted classes and could affect the academic schedule, a Department of Education official here said.

Koko Pimentel to file complaint questioning Zubiri’s proclamation

MALAYBALAY CITY (MindaNews/29 July) -- Genuine Opposition senatorial candidate Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III will formally file Monday a formal complaint with the Senate  Electoral Tribunal (SET) questioning the proclamation of Juan Miguel  Zubiri as the 12th winning senatorial candidate.

Comelec to convene nat’l meet to discuss what’s wrong with electoral system

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/26 July) -- The Commission on Elections announced it will convene a two-day national gathering of elections stakeholders next month to look into the problems haunting the country's electoral system, Comelec chair Benjamin Abalos said.

Comelec mulls US-style primaries for elections in Mindanao

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/27 July) – Citing the ‘unique’ way elections are being conducted in Mindanao, the Commission on Elections has eyed pushing for the use of electoral colleges in primaries used in the United States, officials of the commission said. 

ARMM poll watchdog praised for voters’ education in Tawi-tawi

KIDAPAWAN CITY (MindaNews/27 June) – Voters from the island province of Tawi-tawi are thankful they were given enough information about elections before the big day on May 14.

Task Force Musa tasked to probe killing of whistleblower

KIDAPAWAN CITY (MindaNews/12 June) – The police regional director in Southwestern Mindanao has ordered a thorough probe on the killing last Saturday of an alleged whistleblower of electoral fraud in Pagalungan, Maguindanao.

Koko to sue SouthCot poll supervisor for perjury an libel

KIDAPAWAN CITY (MindaNews/11 June) -- Senatorial candidate Aquilino Pimentel III is set to file perjury and libel charges against South Cotabato provincial election supervisor Lilian Suan-Radam for alleging that his camp offered a considerable amount of cash to her to ensure he makes it  to the Magic 12 in the senatorial race.

Comelec exec denies dagdag-bawas raps, says Koko Pimentel?s men offered her money

KIDAPAWAN CITY (MindaNews/09 June) – The election supervisor of South Cotabato finally broke her silence over accusations she was involved in a dagdag-bawas (vote-padding/vote-shaving) operation that allegedly decreased the number of votes for opposition senatorial candidate Aquilino Pimentel III.

Comelec declares failure of election in Maguindanao

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/06 June) -- The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has declared a failure of elections in all 22 towns of Maguindanao following the failure of  provincial election supervisor Lintang Bedol to submit documents supporting the alleged canvass of the provincial board of canvassers he earlier chaired.

Abp Quevedo: is there another way of choosing leaders in the ARMM?

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/28 May) -–  Is there another way of choosing leaders in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), one that would consider “accepted traditional power structures and cultural values?” Cotabato Archbishop Orlando Quevedo, OMI, asked.

Pimentel’s call for Comelec exec’s relief hit


DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/27 May) -- The move of Senator Aquilino Pimentel Jr. urging the relief of Commission on Elections Region-11 director Remlane Tambuang is "totally drastic, unfair and against all rules about due process," a Comelec-11 official said.

SouthCot’s ruling NPC facing disintegration – Fuentes

KORONADAL CITY (MindaNews/23 May) – Now it can be told. The rumored cracks within the Nationalist People's Coalition (NPC), considered the most dominant political party in South Cotabato over the last decade, has come to fore and is now threatening the unity of the party that has swept the top elective positions in the province in the last three elections.

Mindanao after May 14: new offices for same faces

DAVAO CITY   (MindaNews/22 May) – Same faces, new offices -- at least that’s the picture from the initial list of candidates already proclaimed winners across Mindanao’s 27 provinces and 27 cities.

Comelec’s website stats different from field offices’, not only in ARMM

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/19 May) – The Commission on Elections (Comelec) is the source of information on the number of registered voters. But when there are discrepancies in the number, who should be believed? The official website of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) in Manila or the figures given by the regional field offices such as the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM)?

Pinol brothers dominate in North Cot elections

KIDAPAWAN CITY (MindaNews / May 18) -- The four Piñol brothers proved their supremacy over other candidates in North Cotabato, leading in the unofficial counting in their respective candidacies in Monday's elections.

NPC dominates South Cot polls

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews / May 18)– The opposition Nationalist
People's Coalition (NPC) is  poised to dominate anew the local  politics in
South Cotabato and this city after party stalwarts practically ruled in all but one of the 26 top local elective posts in Monday's elections.

GMA-7 barred entry in Maguindanao capitol

SHARIFF AGUAK, Maguindanao (MindaNews/17 May) – GMA-7 reporter Raffy Tima and his crew were not allowed to enter the provincial capitol compound Wednesday to cover the canvassing of votes from the province’s 22 towns.

Church praises NoCot poll volunteers

KIDAPAWAN CITY (MindaNews/17 May) -- The Diocese of Kidapawan has lauded all volunteers of the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV), National Secretariat for Social Action (Nassa) and the National Movement for Free Elections (Namfrel) for participating in the quick count all over the diocese.

Pacman gets a beating some more

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/16 May) -- He may beat all the boxers from all over the world in his division, but in the political arena, Manny Pacquiao is just no match to a diminutive lady several pounds less than his weight.

ANALYSIS: Zubiri vs Acosta: Two faces of a campaign

MALAYBALAY CITY (MindaNews/16 May) -- Contrary to expectations, the election for the governorship of Bukidnon turned out to be a lopsided contest between the incumbent, Jose Ma. R. Zubiri Jr., and Juan Romeo Nereus O. Acosta, the three-term representative of the province's first district. As of today (May 16), initial results of the counting that trickled in from different municipalities indicated that Zubiri is well on his way to a third term. In some precincts in the third district, the governor's bailiwick, Acosta even failed to get a single vote.

T’boli admin bet cries vote buying

KORONADAL CITY (MindaNews/16 May) -  An administration mayoral candidate in T'boli, South Cotabato has lodged a complaint before the Commission on Elections (Comelec) here over the alleged massive vote-buying committed by the camp of the town's incumbent chief executive.

“Worse than Afghanistan,” says one; “won’t come back anymore,” says another

COTABATO CITY (MindaNews/15 May) --  Somsri Hananuntasuk of Thailand,
the executive director of the Asian Network for Free Elections (Anfrel) has had several encounters with armed men in her monitoring of human rights violations and in the conduct of elections in various places, including Afghanistan. But seeing so many heavily-armed men on election day in Matanog, Shariff Kabunsuan, the muzzle of the their long firearms not pointed down,  some people “acting like a warlord” and the feeling there might be war there, .was “worse than Afghanistan,” she said.

Foreign observers: Senate election by region, pass law on political dynasties

COTABATO CITY (MindaNews/15 May) – Twenty one foreign observers who spent eight days studying pre-election and election-day situation in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao’s (ARMM) six provinces and lone city, have recommended as part of the Philippine electoral reforms the election of senator by region “to cut down the cost of campaigning, and enhance accountability and representation” and the passage of a law on political dynasties to  “limit the number of politicians from same family or political clan.”


Electionsin Southeastern Mindanao: “disorderly at precinct level”

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/15 May) --  The conduct of elections in Southeastern Mindanao was "generally peaceful and orderly" but “disorderly at the precinct level” owing to voters' confusion, a Commission on Elections official said.

Gov says 2007 polls to prove ARMM is no “cheating region”

SHARIFF AGUAK, Maguindanao (MindaNews/14 May) --  Voting in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) was generally peaceful but  problems of statistical improbability and multiple registrants continue to hound the electoral process in an area being referred to as “cheating region.”

Q and A: ARMM Governor Datu Zaldy Ampatuan: “ARMM voters are now politically mature”

SHARIFF AGUAK, Maguindanao (MindaNews/14 May) – ARMM Governor Datu Zaldy Ampatuan stepped out of the Shariff Aguak Central Elementary School at around 9 this morning only to return through the main gate as former Justice Secretary Simeon Datumanong, a relative who is seeking reelection as representative of the second district of Maguindanao, arrived with his wife to cast their votes.

Failure of elections declared in 11 towns in Lanao del Sur

MARAWI CITY (MindaNews/14 May) -- Gunmen, the presence of flying voters and threats of ballot snatching forced poll officials to declare a failure of election in 11 towns of Lanao del Sur.

Failure of elections declared in 19 towns in Mindanao

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/14 May) -- Failure of elections was declared in 19 towns in Mindanao, mostly in Lanao del Sur, according to a report from the Mindanao Economic Development Council (MEDCo)-initiated Kalinaw Mindanao election monitoring here.

Four decades later, residents witness canvassing of votes

SURALLAH, South Cotabato (MindaNews/14 May) -- After more than four decades of waiting, residents of barangay Ned in Lake Sebu will now experience how the votes they cast during elections are actually counted.    

Who has the right over the ER’s for Lakas-Kampi in SouthCot?

KORONADAL CITY (MindaNews/14 May) – Who has the right to get the copy of election returns for the ruling Lakas- Christian Muslim Democrats and the Kabalikat ng Malayang Pilipino (Kampi) here?

ComVal village chided for “hanging around” near poll center

MONKAYO, Compostela Valley (MindaNews/14 May)—A village official here was reprimanded by election authorities for allegedly hanging around with his supporters in a polling center at the height of Monday’s voting as police declared the town’s conduct of the national and local polls as “generally peaceful.”

In Malaybalay, vote-buying was anything but clandestine

MALAYBALAY CITY (MindaNews/14 May) -- The election campaign officially ended midnight Saturday. But for many local candidates, the real crunch time had come. The relative silence that filled the city's streets after days of noise caused by campaign jingles that competed for voters' attention simply meant that the contest had shifted to another arena. Except for the trickles of disniformation spread by one group to confuse the other, the propaganda war had ended. It was time for the final push.

The final push was vote-buying which, as expected, took place on the eve of Election Day.

Comelec asked to explain why Iligan has fewer registered voters

ILIGAN CITY (MindaNews) – If the increase in number of Lanao del Sur’s registered voters is statistically improbable, a convenor of the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV) here wants the Commission on Elections to explain why Iligan City’s number of registered voters has decreased from 163,265 in 2004 to 149,246 in 2007.

South Cotabato elections: peaceful but ‘dirty’

KORONADAL CITY (MindaNews/14 May) -- The conduct of the elections in South Cotabato was generally peaceful but the Commission on Elections was plagued with complaints on alleged vote buying, harassment, cheating and the usual voters’ complaint that they could not find their names in their precincts.

South Cot polls delayed by lack of indelible ink

KORONADAL CITY  (MindaNews/14 May) -- A shortage of  indelible ink and other election materials and the late arrival of poll clerks delayed the opening of  several polling precincts here this morning, triggering confusion among voters in some parts of the city and nearby towns of South Cotabato.

In Lutayan, where are the Namfrel volunteers?

LUTAYAN, Sultan Kudarat (MindaNews/14 May) – Where have all the watchers gone? 

The Board of Election Inspectors opened the precincts for voting at 7 a.m. but no volunteer of election watchdog National Movement for Free Elections was around to monitor the voting in this bailiwick of the Mangudadatus.

ARMM Election Monitoring Report as of 1 pm

Philippine Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV) - Archdiocese of Cotabato, Rosary Heights Parish Church, Ramon Rabago Street, Cotabato City

ARMM ELection Monitoring Report, May 14, 2007 

(As of 1:00 p.m.)

8:45 am

Two bombs exploded in Brgy. Dalican, Datu Odin Sinsuat at about 7:10 a.m. outside a residential house and outside the premises of the Dalican Pilot Elementary School. No one was reported injured. PNP-ARMM Chief Superintendent Gen. Joel Goltiao, in an interview over DXMS, said the bombs were intended to harass, “nananakot lang”. The bomb explosions however did not affect the conduct of elections.

Rise in number of registered voters in Lanao Sur ?statistically improbable?

MARAWI CITY (MindaNews/13 May) -- Non-government organizations here expressed alarm today over the significant increase in the number of registered voters in Lanao del Sur who will troop to the polls on Monday.

DepEd questions changes in BEI composition in Davao City

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/13 May) -- Delays in the shipment of election paraphernalia, alleged inaccessibility of Comelec officials, and a questionable alteration of members of boards of election inspectors have tainted the run-up to the polls tomorrow. 

Election means a 1-day job for thousands of poor Filipinos

KORONADAL CITY (MindaNews/13 May) -- Eduardo Dastas and his family live in a house here walled by roofing sheets they borrowed from somebody. They squat on the land along with at least five other households.

Int’l observers to monitor polls in Compostela Valley, ARMM

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/12 May) -- A delegation from the International Observers Mission 2007 is expected to arrive Sunday in Compostela Valley to monitor the May 14 elections, local hosts announced.

In the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, 21 poll observers from six countries have been deployed for tomorrow's polls. 


Comelec has 3 websites but where are the vital stats?

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/12 May) – The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has three websites but as of 7 p.m. of May 12, not one of them contains the 2007 statistics on the number of registered voters.

Ballot boxes with ERs favoring TU found in Bukidnon, Zambo Norte

MALAYBALAY CITY (MindaNews/12 May) -- Senate Minority Leader Aquilino Q. Pimentel Jr. today said hundreds of ballot boxes containing prefabricated election returns favoring Team Unity candidates have been intercepted by volunteers of Genuine Opposition.

Is Comelec still minding vote-buying?

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/12 May) – The Commission on Elections will not act on reports of rampant vote-buying “unless a complaint is formally filed at the City Prosecution Office,” Melcar Unso, Comelec spokesperson for Southeastern Mindanao, said in a press conference Friday at the Task Force Davao headquarters.

Nograles on Duterte’s junking of Kalahi: “no comment’

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/12 May) -- Rep. Prospero Nograles has declined to comment on Mayor Rodrigo Duterte's announcement to barangay captains Friday to junk Kalahi, one of the party-list groups believed backed by Malacanang and whose second nominee is Nograles’ son, Karlo Alexei.

NDF calls on Comelec to foil electrion fraud

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/12 May) – The National Democratic Front has urged the Commission on Elections to "oppose and frustrate" schemes for election fraud and instead "stand up for truth and integrity", an NDF official said. 

Q and A with Virgilio Garcillano (3): “Was there anybody who asked me to...

Last of three parts

BUKIDNON (MindaNews/11 May) – He waited three and a half hours to deliver his 18-minute speech at the rally of “Bando Garcillano, Bando Albarece” at the Damilag gym in Manolo Fortich Monday night.

When he went up the stage, former elections commissioner Virgilio Garcillano started (as he always does, he told MindaNews) with the “Hello Garci” controversy to “attract their attention.”

Q and A with Virgilio Garcillano (2): “I was trying to espouse reforms”

2nd of 3 parts

BUKIDNON (MindaNews/10 May) – Visitors to Virgilio Garcillano’s farm in Baungon, Bukidnon have to travel some 16 kilometers of rough road but visitors he still has plenty,  including potential voters demanding money but whom he sent away that Monday morning, he said, without cash and with an advice not to vote for him.