Surigao town mayoral bet defeats rival by slim margin

The come-backing Ramon Mondano was proclaimed Wednesday mayor of the municipality of Mainit, Surigao del Norte defeating incumbent Mayor Roger Gatpolintan by a margin of 26 votes.

Senior Supt. Rodolfo Mascariñas, Surigao del Norte Police Election Supervising team head, said the proclamation of Mondano was held in solemn ceremony at the Surigao City Hall Function Room around 10 a.m.

He said supporters of the winning candidates and backers from the opposing side were barred from attending the ceremony due to the tense situation.

After the canvassing of the last 13 polling precincts in Mainit town, Mondano got 6,232 votes in the final official tally while Gatpolintan garnered 6,206 votes.

The town had a total of 16,099 registered voters.

In the vice mayoral contest, new comer Jessnar Mosende was proclaimed winner after getting 6,774 votes.

Meanwhile, the proclamation of the winning candidates for the first and second congressional districts of Surigao del Norte including the gubernatorial, vice gubernatorial and members of the provincial board were put on hold due to the petition of Gov. Lyndon Barbers.

Barbers, who is running for the congressional post for second district, lagged behind rival Tubod Mayor Guillermo Romarate, Jr with 5,858 votes.

Barbers had petitioned the Comelec last May 18 to stop canvassing and proclamation of the candidates due to alleged fraud, harassment and vote-buying during the balloting in the province.

On that same day, Comelec Chairman Benjamin Abalos stopped the canvassing and ordered the immediate hearing of the petition.

But in the Namfrel Surigao del Norte quick count final unofficial tally, Romarate’s margin of votes against Barbers had widened by 7,128 votes. - GMANews.TV

9 days after E-Day: End is near, but noise just beginning

The Commission on Elections said Wednesday it might proclaim on Friday the top nine senatorial candidates and the National Movement for Free Elections announced would wrap up its quick count on Sunday.

Comelec and Namfrel’s improvement in the tallying of the votes was a welcome relief for most Filipinos who want would to see an end to the election frenzy.

The counting may be nearing its end, but the noise whipped up by charges of poll fraud is just beginning.

Zeroing in on zero vote

The National Board of Canvassers on Wednesday deferred the canvassing of votes from Sulu due to erasures in the certificate of canvass, the same COC which showed that two Genuine Opposition senatorial candidates got zero when the votes from the town of Luuk were counted.

The questioned COC had revealed opposition candidates Benigno Simeon Aquino III and Alan Peter Cayetano getting zero.

At the same time, Commission on Elections chairman Benjamin Abalos summoned members of the Provincial Board of Canvassers in Sulu to appear before the board to authenticate the corrections they made on the COC.

The decision came after lawyer Leila de Lima questioned Vidzfar Amil Julie, provincial election supervisor of Sulu, on the “noted unauthenticated superimpositions on figures” in the COC.

She was referring to erasures made on the COC which did not bear any initials from the officials who made the erasures.

The lawyer also said that it was highly improbable for Aquino and Alan Peter Cayetano to get zero while Joselito Pepito Cayetano, who was earlier disqualified by the Comelec, got 187 votes in the municipality.

She also asked the board to allow them access to the statement of votes by precinct to check the votes for the two candidates.

Abalos granted her request provided that she will file a formal petition for it within 24 hours.

The COC from Sulu also has incomplete data on the number of registered voters who actually voted.

Comelec data shows that Luuk has 23,357 voters.

The number of voters in the municipality had increased by 35.95 percent for the 2007 elections.

This meant an increase of 6,178 voters over the 2004 figures of 17,179.

Int’l watchdogs had taste of 2Gs

Foreigner observers can’t be faulted if they are spreading around that May 14 elections had been marred by massive vote buying and intimidation because some of them have even experienced such irregularities personally in Mindanao, particularly in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

Lawyer Nasser Marohomsalic, executive committee member of the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting- Legal Network for Truthful Elections, made the claim Wednesday.

He told reporters covering the quick count of the National Movement for Free Election (Namfrel) at La Salle Greenhills, San Juan, that one of the foreign observers from Indonesia, named Marini, was offered P300 to vote in Ditsaan-Ramain, Lanao del Sur.

“Siguro akala Pinoy dahil kamukha natin Malay race yan, nilapitan siya tapos inalok ng P300 para bumoto (He was mistaken for a Filipino. He was offered P300 to vote for a certain candidate),” he said.

Another observer, Musaraf, a Pakistani national, was allegedly threatened with harm when he took a video footage of a political watcher accompanying voters inside the polling precincts in Tamparan also in Lanao Sur.

“Nagtanong siya kung allowed ba yun, ang sagot ng pinagtanungan niya, ‘gusto mo patayin kita’ (He asked if that was allowed and the man answered-‘you want me to kill you?’),” Marohomsalic added.

He said the administration candidates in Lanao del Sur outnumbered the opposition’s. - GMANews.TV

Zero vote for Aquino, Cayetano in Luuk, Sulu; canvass reset

By AMITA LEGASPI, GMANews.TV

05/23/2007 | 12:41 PM

The National Board of Canvassers on Wednesday deferred the canvassing of votes from Sulu due to erasures in the certificate of canvass, the same COC which showed that two Genuine Opposition senatorial candidates got zero when the votes from the town of Luuk were counted.

The questioned COC had revealed opposition candidates Benigno Simeon Aquino III and Alan Peter Cayetano getting zero.

At the same time, Commission on Elections chairman Benjamin Abalos summoned members of the Provincial Board of Canvassers in Sulu to appear before the board to authenticate the corrections they made on the COC.

The decision came after lawyer Leila de Lima questioned Vidzfar Amil Julie, provincial election supervisor of Sulu, on the “noted unauthenticated superimpositions on figures” in the COC.

She was referring to erasures made on the COC which did not bear any initials from the officials who made the erasures.

The lawyer also said that it was highly improbable for Aquino and Alan Peter Cayetano to get zero while Joselito Pepito Cayetano, who was earlier disqualified by the Comelec, got 187 votes in the municipality.

She also asked the board to allow them access to the statement of votes by precinct to check the votes for the two candidates.

Abalos granted her request provided that she will file a formal petition for it within 24 hours.

The COC from Sulu also has incomplete data on the number of registered voters who actually voted.

Comelec data shows that Luuk has 23,357 voters.

The number of voters in the municipality had increased by 35.95 percent for the 2007 elections.

This meant an increase of 6,178 voters over the 2004 figures of 17,179. – GMANews.TV

GMA News Research: 181 RP towns consistent poll hotspots

EDERIC EDER and BRENDA BARRIENTOS

05/22/2007 | 11:42 PM

GMA News Research 181 RP towns consistent poll hotspots’)+’&bodytext=’ + encodeURIComponent(‘GMA News Research finds 181 cities and towns in the country are consistent hotspots since 2001Hotspots are areas considered election areas of concern and election areas of immediate concern’),’del.icio.us’); return false;”>

On April 1, Freddie Boy Quidato, mayoral candidate in Placer, Masbate, and two of his supporters were walking on Sitio Bugtong at Cauayan village when a group of some 20 armed men sprayed them with bullets. Quidato survived the attack unhurt. His supporters, Tod Nonoy Duan and Toto Juanico, were not as lucky.

A few days later, national police records show that Alfredo Yuson, a supporter of another Masbate mayoral bet, allegedly killed in an ambush two supporters of a rival candidate.

Violence is not new in the province of Masbate. Its political history has left a trail of blood in recent years: Three Espinosas, all elected public officials, have been killed in over a decade. The Espinosas have been rulers of Masbate for almost half a century.

Police statistics show that election-related incidents have claimed at least 25 lives in Masbate since the 2001 polls. A recent GMA News Research study finds that all but three towns and cities in Masbate have been consistent hotspots in the last three elections.

Masbate, however, is not an isolated case. GMA News Research finds 181 cities and towns in the country are consistent hotspots since 2001. (see complete table)

Hotspots are areas considered election areas of concern (EAC) and election areas of immediate concern (EIAC). The police define EAIC as cities or municipalities where election-related violence are highly expected to occur. EAC are towns where election-related violence are likely to occur or where election-related offenses were committed during the previous elections.

consistent election hotspots

Eighteen of these towns are in Masbate: Arroyo, Baleno, Balud, Batuan, Cataingan, Cawayan, City Of Masbate, Claveria, Dimasalang, Mobo, Monreal, Palanas, Pio V. Corpuz (Limbuhan), Placer, San Fernando, San Jacinto, San Pascual, and Uson.

Meanwhile, Abra, province of killed Rep. Luis Bersamin, is another regular hotspot. Ten of its 27 towns are consistent hotspots. It was declared under the control of the Commission on Elections this year. In the 2004 elections, four towns in this province were also declared under Comelec control: Bangued, Danglas, La Paz and Tineg.

In Nueva Ecija, 17 out of 32 towns are hotspots. Jaen town, where violence also erupted and claimed lives this year, is among the 17.

Half of the towns in Lanao del Sur are also consistent hotspots in the national elections from 2001 to 2007. This year, elections failed to push through in 17 towns due to threats of violence.

In Cagayan, 16 out of 29 towns in are consistent hotspots.

Table 1. Consistent election hotspots
Municipality Province Region1
Bangued Abra CAR

2
Boliney Abra CAR

3
Danglas Abra CAR

4
Dolores Abra CAR

5
Lacub Abra CAR

6
Lagayan Abra CAR

7
Langiden Abra CAR

8
Malibcong Abra CAR

9
Tayum Abra CAR

10
Tubo Abra CAR

11
Trento Agusan Del Sur XIII

12
City Of Ligao Albay V

13
Jovellar Albay V

14
Libon Albay V

15
Pio Duran Albay V

16
Casiguran Aurora III

17
Dipaculao Aurora III

18
Sumisip Basilan ARMM

19
Batangas City Batangas IV-A

20
Tuy Batangas IV-A

21
Amulung Cagayan II

22
Buguey Cagayan II

23
Claveria Cagayan II

24
Enrile Cagayan II

25
Gattaran Cagayan II

26
Gonzaga Cagayan II

27
Iguig Cagayan II

28
Lal-Lo Cagayan II

29
Lasam Cagayan II

30
Peñablanca Cagayan II

31
Piat Cagayan II

32
Rizal Cagayan II

33
Santa Teresita Cagayan II

34
Santo Niño (Faire) Cagayan II

35
Tuao Cagayan II

36
Tuguegarao City Cagayan II

37
Jose Panganiban Camarines Norte V

38
Labo Camarines Norte V

39
San Lorenzo Ruiz (Imelda) Camarines Norte V

40
Santa Elena Camarines Norte V

41
Buhi Camarines Sur V

42
Sagnay Camarines Sur V

43
Mambajao Camiguin X

44
Bagamanoc Catanduanes V

45
Gigmoto Catanduanes V

46
Carmona Cavite IV-A

47
Maco Compostela Valley XI

48
Mawab Compostela Valley XI

49
New Corella Davao Del Norte XI

50
Talaingod Davao Del Norte XI

51
Don Marcelino Davao Del Sur XI

52
Baganga Davao Oriental XI

53
Caraga Davao Oriental XI

54
Governor Generoso Davao Oriental XI

55
Lupon Davao Oriental XI

56
Manay Davao Oriental XI

57
Mati Davao Oriental XI

58
San Isidro Davao Oriental XI

59
Tarragona Davao Oriental XI

60
Can-Avid Eastern Samar VIII

61
Dingras Ilocos Norte I

62
Laoag City Ilocos Norte I

63
Cabugao Ilocos Sur I

64
Alicia Isabela II

65
Angadanan Isabela II

66
Delfin Albano (Magsaysay) Isabela II

67
Ilagan Isabela II

68
Mallig Isabela II

69
San Pablo Isabela II

70
Lubuagan Kalinga CAR

71
Pasil Kalinga CAR

72
Pinukpuk Kalinga CAR

73
Tanudan Kalinga CAR

74
Tinglayan Kalinga CAR

75
Kauswagan Lanao Del Norte X

76
Munai Lanao Del Norte X

77
Bacolod-Kalawi (Bacolod Grande) Lanao Del Sur ARMM

78
Balabagan Lanao Del Sur ARMM

79
Bayang Lanao Del Sur ARMM

80
Binidayan Lanao Del Sur ARMM

81
Butig Lanao Del Sur ARMM

82
Calanogas Lanao Del Sur ARMM

83
Ganassi Lanao Del Sur ARMM

84
Kapai Lanao Del Sur ARMM

85
Lumba-Bayabao (Maguing) Lanao Del Sur ARMM

86
Madamba Lanao Del Sur ARMM

87
Malabang Lanao Del Sur ARMM

88
Masiu Lanao Del Sur ARMM

89
Mulondo Lanao Del Sur ARMM

90
Pagayawan Lanao Del Sur ARMM

91
Piagapo Lanao Del Sur ARMM

92
Poona Bayabao (Gata) Lanao Del Sur ARMM

93
Pualas Lanao Del Sur ARMM

94
Saguiaran Lanao Del Sur ARMM

95
Sultan Gumander Lanao Del Sur ARMM

96
Tugaya Lanao Del Sur ARMM

97
Sultan Kudarat (Nuling) Maguindanao ARMM

98
Aroroy Masbate V

99
Baleno Masbate V

100
Balud Masbate V

101
Batuan Masbate V

102
Cataingan Masbate V

103
Cawayan Masbate V

104
City Of Masbate Masbate V

105
Claveria Masbate V

106
Dimasalang Masbate V

107
Mobo Masbate V

108
Monreal Masbate V

109
Palanas Masbate V

110
Pio V. Corpuz (Limbuhan) Masbate V

111
Placer Masbate V

112
San Fernando Masbate V

113
San Jacinto Masbate V

114
San Pascual Masbate V

115
Uson Masbate V

116
Baliangao Misamis Occidental X

117
Clarin Misamis Occidental X

118
Sapang Dalaga Misamis Occidental X

119
Lagonglong Misamis Oriental X

120
Arakan North Cotabato XII

121
Banisilan North Cotabato XII

122
Carmen North Cotabato XII

123
Kabacan North Cotabato XII

124
Midsayap North Cotabato XII

125
M’lang North Cotabato XII

126
Pigkawayan North Cotabato XII

127
Pikit North Cotabato XII

128
Tulunan North Cotabato XII

129
Lope De Vega Northern Samar VIII

130
Silvino Lobos Northern Samar VIII

131
Cabanatuan City Nueva Ecija III

132
Carranglan Nueva Ecija III

133
Gabaldon (Bitulok & Sabani) Nueva Ecija III

134
Gapan Nueva Ecija III

135
General Mamerto Natividad Nueva Ecija III

136
Guimba Nueva Ecija III

137
Jaen Nueva Ecija III

138
Lupao Nueva Ecija III

139
Nampicuan Nueva Ecija III

140
Palayan City Nueva Ecija III

141
Pantabangan Nueva Ecija III

142
Quezon Nueva Ecija III

143
Rizal Nueva Ecija III

144
San Isidro Nueva Ecija III

145
San Jose City Nueva Ecija III

146
Santa Rosa Nueva Ecija III

147
Santo Domingo Nueva Ecija III

148
Calintaan Occidental Mindoro IV-B

149
Sablayan Occidental Mindoro IV-B

150
Sablayan Occidental Mindoro IV-B

151
Sablayan Occidental Mindoro IV-B

152
Santa Cruz Occidental Mindoro IV-B

153
Bansud Oriental Mindoro IV-B

154
Gloria Oriental Mindoro IV-B

155
San Carlos City Pangasinan I

156
Pagbilao Quezon IV-A

157
City Of Antipolo Rizal IV-A

158
Calbayog City Samar (Western Samar) VIII

159
Matuguinao Samar (Western Samar) VIII

160
San Jorge Samar (Western Samar) VIII

161
San Jose De Buan Samar (Western Samar) VIII

162
Santa Margarita Samar (Western Samar) VIII

163
Tarangnan Samar (Western Samar) VIII

164
Bacon Sorsogon V

165
Castilla Sorsogon V

166
City Of Sorsogon Sorsogon V

167
Matnog Sorsogon V

168
Santa Magdalena Sorsogon V

169
Columbio Sultan Kudarat XII

170
Siasi Sulu ARMM

171
Siasi Sulu ARMM

172
Lingig Surigao Del Sur XIII

173
La Paz Tarlac III

174
Kalawit Zamboanga Del Norte IX

175
La Libertad Zamboanga Del Norte IX

176
Sibuco Zamboanga Del Norte IX

177
Sirawai Zamboanga Del Norte IX

178
Dimataling Zamboanga Del Sur IX

179
Josefina Zamboanga Del Sur IX

180
Kumalarang Zamboanga Del Sur IX

181
Tabina Zamboanga Del Sur IX
Source: Philippine National Police, Commission on Elections
gmanews.tv

Comelec censures media for reporting own tally of poll results

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) censured members of the media for releasing results of the May 14 elections that are not “sanctioned” by the poll body.

In a notice posted at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) on Tuesday, the Comelec said that election results released by its control and releasing group are the only ones considered official outcome of the midterm elections.

“The tallies arrived at by individuals-including members of the media-observing the proceedings of the NBOC (National Board of Canvassers) are not official and are not sanctioned by the Comelec in any way,” said the advisory that was released by the poll body’s media and information committee.

The advisory appeared to have been posted as a response to why different figures coming from the NBOC’s tabulation of certificates of canvass are being reported by the media.

Since Wednesday last week when the NBOC started canvassing COCs from overseas and in different parts of the country, reporters covering operations at the PICC have been tabulating results on their own based on what they read in the canvass proceedings.

In the 2004 presidential polls, the media also did their own tabulation but were provided by the Comelec with copies of the official results at the end of day. It took the Comelec two days to release the official outcome of the canvassing at the time. GMANews.TV

TRO on Imbestigador ‘threat’ to press freedom

A Canada-based media watchdog group branded as a “threat” to media freedom Wednesday (Manila time) the temporary restraining order slapped on a public affairs television program reporting on a clan’s 60-year reign in Lanao del Norte province.

The International Freedom of Expression eXchange (IFEX), in its website (www.ifex.org), classified the urgency of the censorship on the TV show “Imbestigador” as a “Threat.”

Last May 12, a representative from Lanao del Norte’s second district secured the TRO that barred GMA Network Inc.’s “Imbestigador” from airing the segment on the Dimaporo clan.

Rep. Abdullah Dimaporo said in his petition that the program would only cause “irreparable damage” to his “good name,” claiming that the show did not show his side of the story.

He said that a circulating mobile phone message saying that the story would focus on his “corruption and greediness” (sic) prompted him to file the petition.

“The 72-hour TRO reached GMA Network when Imbestigador’s staff was in the last stages of editing the program for airing,” the IFEX said.

On the other hand, IFEX noted the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) labeled the restriction “as a clear case of prior restraint,”

In its statement, the NUJP said that while it not dispute the Dimaporo family’s right to seek redress if they feel the episode is unfair to them, “any redress they seek should be after the fact and should not involve [preventing] the airing of an episode that very clearly touches on an issue of public interest.”

Angel Directo, Imbestigador’s associate producer, asserted that “Imbestigador” had tried to secure an interview with Dimaporo.

She said the congressman initially agreed to an interview, but was later not available. She added that the program had sent a researcher and a cameraman to Lanao del Norte on May 11, but were still unable to obtain an interview.

The network was said to have been “under intense pressure” the previous week from the Dimaporos and their go-betweens to kill the story, via “letters, phone calls, and personal visits.”

Lawyer Jose Ibarra of the GMA-7 legal department said that the report’s showing should not have been blocked, noting that a story on the Dimaporos as a political family is “not a private aspect of their lives, but a public fact.”

Theodore Te, a human rights lawyer, said GMA-7 could have opted to still air the Dimaporo story in spite of the TRO, citing the constitutional provision on press freedom if charged with contempt of court.

Te also said that the network could have also appealed to the Supreme Court for an immediate restraining order on the TRO.

“GMA’s legal department is still awaiting another hearing to settle the case, since the initial summons to determine if the TRO would go beyond 72 hours was set too soon, on 13 May,” IFEX said. - GMANews.TV

Namfrel count, 11:20 pm: GO bets glued to 8 winning seats

FIDEL JIMENEZ, GMANews.TV

05/23/2007 | 12:38 AM

Genuine Opposition senatorial candidates continue occupying eight of the 12 winning seats as the National Citizens Movement for Free Elections’ (Namfrel) quick count tally result nears 60 percent, as of 11:20 p.m., Tuesday.

Namfrel’s partial, unofficial tally came from 133,073 precincts, representing 59.21 percent of the total number of polling precincts nationwide.

Fixed in the top five posts are GO bets Loren Legarda with 9,624,986 votes, Francis Joseph “Chiz” Escudero with 9,370,285 votes, Panfilo “Ping” Lacson with 8,279,916 votes and Manuel Villar Jr with 7, 9,33,889 votes and Liberal Party candidate Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan with 7,512,265 votes.

GO bet Benigno Simeon “Noynoy” Aquino III remained a sixth placer with 7,470,608 votes.

Seventh place is still cornered by Team Unity bet Edgardo Angara with 6, 626,557 votes.

Independent candidate Gregorio “Gringo” Honasan also stayed at the eighth spot with 6, 279,935 votes.

GO bet Alan Peter Cayetano remains at the ninth spot with 6,084,715 votes, followed by fellow opposition candidate Antonio Trillanes IV with 5,939,286 votes.

TU bet Joker Arroyo is still the 11th placer with 5,921,281 votes while GO candidate Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III completes the winning pack with 5, 805,271 votes. – GMANews.TV

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