Poll watch leader backtracks on Comelec’s Yusoph

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (MindaNews/2 Sept) — A well-known poll-watch leader has backtracked from his previous statement that Commissioner Elias Yusoph of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) was one of the election officials who made money by issuing orders to cluster voting precincts to favored politicians in Lanao del Sur during the synchronized local and national elections last May.

“I could not possibly hurt a fellow Maranao,” said Hadji Abdullah Dalidig, head of the Islamic Movement for Electoral Reforms and Good Governance (IMERGG).

Last June, Dalidig told reporters that Yusoph, whose son Noraldin was kidnapped, could not be trusted as an election official.

Dalidig now said he did not accuse Yusoph of being involved in the election cheating in Lanao del Sur in the last May elections.

“Money was used to bribe Lanao del Sur poll officials but not Commissioner Yusoph,” Dalidig said.

Dalidig’s reversal came two months after Yusoph’s son, Noraldin, was released in Cagayan de Oro City.

Noraldin’s kidnapping triggered a verbal war between Yusoph and top ranking military officials in Lanao del Sur.

Yusoph accused military officials of not doing their jobs in looking for his son, Noraldin. The military on the other hand, told reporters Noraldin was kidnapped by losing politicians who allegedly bribed Yusoph in the clustering of polling precincts. (Froilan Gallardo / MindaNews)