• PNoy pushing for Mar raises poll fraud fears

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    BAGUIO CITY: THE tandem of Senators Grace Poe and Francis “Chiz” Escudero expressed belief that President Benigno Aquino 3rd’s active participation in the campaign of Liberal Party (LP) standard-bearer Manuel “Mar” Roxas 2nd is a reason why a huge number of Filipinos fear that there will be cheating in the May 9 elections.

    While he has no doubts that Aquino will not allow cheating, according to Escudero, it is possible that the people’s fear stems from the President endorsing the LP candidates and actively helping in their sorties.

    A survey conducted by Pulse Asia from January 24 to 28, 2016 showed that 39 percent of 1,800 respondents believe that there will be cheating while less than half of those polled expect the coming polls to be clean.

    “Maybe the perception of the voters is coming from the President endorsing his candidates and campaigning for them instead of just focusing in making sure that the elections will be fair and clean,” Escudero said during a news conference of Partido Galing at Puso here.

    The leading vice presidential candidate insisted that the polls must not only be clean and honest but must also be credible but, unfortunately, the chance of ensuring such elections has passed.

    Escudero noted that Malacanang spokesman Edwin Lacierda admitted that one of the commissioners appointed by the President to the Commission on Elections (Comelec) is a classmate of Senate President Franklin Drilon. a senatorial candidate running under the LP ticket.

    Lacierda, the senator said, has admitted that one or two commissioners of the poll body were nominees of Roxas.

    Escudero, however, did not name names but he could be referring to Comelec Commissioners Arthur Lim, a classmate of Drilon at the University of the Philippines College of Law, Chirstian Robert Lim and Rowena Guanzon.

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