• Proof of vote manipulation strong, group says


    THE Confederation of Non-Stock Savings and Loan Associations (Consla) party-list group said it has strong evidence to prove its claim that votes were manipulated during the last election.

    Retired Col. Ricardo L. Nolasco Jr. the group’s first nominee, said in a statement on Saturday that the Commission on Elections (Comelec) and its sole accredited citizen arm, the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV), are duty-bound to explain to the Filipino people the discrepancies in the canvassing of votes.

    “How can votes canvassed by the PPCRV from the Comelec transparency server, which essentially are the same votes canvassed by the Comelec in its official canvass, churn out completely different results?” Nolasco, who served the military for almost 30 years, asked.

    Nolasco was referring to the conflicting results released by the PPCRV and the Comelec with regard to the total number of votes it received during the May 9 elections.

    The Comelec tally showed that Consla garnered 213,814 votes but the PPCRV’s quick count showed the group getting 555,896 votes as of May 11, 2016.

    The Comelec results, he said, came as a surprise because statistics-wise, Consla could have easily garnered votes double or even triple that number.

    Nolasco noted that the group, whose primary advocacy is to economically empower Filipinos through self-help and microentreneurship, represents a million-strong group of men and women who are members of the 58 non-stock savings and loan associations.

    Their members, he added, belong to the marginalized sectors of the military, police, teachers, market vendors, employees and workers of the government and private sectors such as call centers, malls, oil refineries, mines and other industries.

    He also cited the overwhelming support of marginalized groups and voters in Calayan Island, Kalinga Province, Cagayan, Isabela, Ilocos Norte and Ilocos Sur, Pangasinan, Cavite, Batangas, Rizal, Bicol region and Davao.

    Nolasco said the group’s call for an investigation by the Comelec of the discrepancy was based on a “reliable third-party information” showing indications of “irregularities” in the canvass of votes for party-list groups.

    He was referring to the sworn affidavit executed by Arnold Arriola of the Buhay Partylist.

    Arriola attested to the fact that on or about 10:40 p.m. on May 9, he was able to take photographs of the partial and unofficial votes for party-list groups generated by the PPCRV Quick Count.

    Based on his statements, he managed to take the photographs as Rommel Bernardo of the PPCRV browsed through the results of the canvassing of votes for party-list groups on his workstation and showed them to him.

    One of Arriola’s photos showed that Consla garnered 342,513 votes from 68,626 clustered precincts, ranking 17th among 115 contending party-list organizations, with the stage of completion of transmission of votes at 74.18 percent.

    Consla continued to get more votes and based on tweets posted on the PPCRV’s official Twitter account the following day, May 10, 2016, at 11 a.m., Consla ranked 14th overall with 523,753 votes. A subsequent tweet an hour later showed the group securing 555,896 votes.

    The group has filed a letter-complaint with the PPCRV demanding an explanation of the discrepancy.

    It also filed a petition before the Comelec seeking an immediate probe of the election results for the party-list contest.


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