Former Comelec chair Benjamin Abalos accused of rigging the 2007 polls

Philstar.com reports that two former Commission on Elections (Comelec) officials submitted affidavits to the Department of Justice (DOJ) claiming that ex-Comelec chairman Benjamin Abalos ordered them to rig the vote in Mindanao in 2007.

Philstar.com reports that two former Commission on Elections (Comelec) officials submitted affidavits to the Department of Justice (DOJ) claiming that ex-Comelec chairman Benjamin Abalos ordered them to rig the votes in Mindanao in 2007.

 

Abalos denied the allegations made by Lilian Radam, former provincial election supervisor in South Cotabato and Yogie Martirizar, former election supervisor in North Cotabato. "It's too much. How can you glorify people who are fugitives from the law? How can you give credence to (their statements) when they went into hiding?" Abalos asked.

 

Nevertheless, Justice Secretary Leila de Lima said the DOJ considers the two witnesses credible. Both Radam and Martirizar gave detailed testimonies of the so-called dagdag-bawas practices employed in the alleged poll fraud.

 

In his defense, Abalos said the Comelec, acting as National Board of Canvassers in the 2007 polls, had also ordered Radam and Martirizar to explain discrepancies in the election results in North and South Cotabato during the canvassing procedures in May 2007 but they went into hiding. He said, "I ordered them investigated so how can they say that I am involved?"

 

Abalos added that if he was capable of manipulating elections, his son-in-law Francisco Yatco would have benefited when he ran for mayor of Biñan, Laguna. Instead, Yatco lost in all his attempts (2005, 2007, and 2007).

 

For more on this story, log on to Philstar.com.

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