The Liberal Party (LP) has allegedly hatched a plot to “steal” the elections and ensure victory for administration candidates led by Manuel “Mar” Roxas 2nd and his vice presidential running mate, Camarines Sur. Rep. Leni Robredo, based on an alert raised by a farmers group.
Efren Villasenor, the national chairman of the Philippine Coconut Producers Federation (Cocofed), on Friday said he has received complaints from the field about rigged results of test polls using Commission on Elections (Comelec) ballots and Vote Counting Machines (VCMs).
Cocofed is the oldest coconut industry association in the country, formed in 1947 as the Philippine Coconut Planters Association by coconut planters from Quezon and Laguna.
It was renamed Cocofed in 1956 and in 1971 became the government-recognized national organization of coconut farmers with the largest membership.
At present, it counts more than one million members from various provinces, with over 900 chapters nationwide.
Villasenor said their affiliates from Marawi City (Lanao del Sur), Cotabato City and Maguindanao–all in southern Mindanao–have reported to them that during the VCM tests, the results were for Roxas and his team even when the names of other candidates in the ballots were shaded.
“Even here in Lopez, Quezon, we have the same observation. Many actually shaded the names of [Davao City Mayor Rodrigo] Duterte and [Sen. Grace] Poe but the VCM receipt indicated that the votes went to Roxas,” he added.
“The VCM has a new name, Vote Cheating Machine. Let’s expect massive cheating on May 9. Imagine this is only a test, yet very clearly we can see how the machines are being manipulated,” the Cocofed official said.
These findings, according to Villasenor, led many in the two cities and two provinces to decide not to vote at all.
“I was told that those who witnessed the ‘cheating’ no longer want to vote, fearing that their votes will not be counted. This is going to be a farce [voting]. Cheating is very likely to occur,” he said.
Villasenor added that Cocofed has endorsed the candidacy of Poe for President and Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. for Vice President.
They are also campaigning for party list group 1PacMan, he added.
The Cocofed president scored Roxas and Robredo’s sudden rise in pre-election surveys this week, which he described as highly “suspicious.”
He said the surveys can be used to condition the minds of voters that in the event of a Roxas win, it was because he did good in the surveys.
“They will use the manipulated surveys to convince people and justify cheating. It will be a good cover-up for cheating. There will be chaos,” Villasenor pointed out.
Meanwhile, a political lawyer identified with the opposition also claimed to have received similar alarming reports.
“They [Liberal Party] are out to steal the elections. They will not allow Duterte and Marcos to win at all costs,” the lawyer told The Manila Times on condition that he would not be named.
The plan, he said, involves “trending” beginning Monday, Election Day, by first canvassing votes from “yellow areas” to create the impression that Roxas is leading the count.
The color yellow is identified with the Aquino camp.