Roxas has 2.18-M lead in Regions 6 and 7 – Abad

May 13th, 2010

Lead will give LP Veep bet victory in final count – LP

Liberal Party (LP) General Campaign Manager Florencio “Butch Abad today said Senator Manuel “Mar” Roxas has lead of 2.18-million votes that would give the LP vice- presidential bet victory over Makati Mayor Jejomar Binay based on electronic results of last Monday’s elections gathered by the party.

Abad pointed out that the Commission on Elections (Comelec) has so far made public only 78.5% of the votes transmitted electronically to the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting and 21.5% have yet to be counted.

“Assuming that there are 500 estimated voters per clustered precinct, the number of votes to be counted by Comelec is about 8.2 million and assuming a 75% voter turnout, almost 6 million votes have yet to be tallied,” Abad told a press conference, pointing out that there is “no reason” for Binay to celebrate victory.

Abad added that Roxas would surge past Binay in the vice-presidential race had the votes in Region 6 composed of Aklan, Antique, Capiz, Guimaras, Iloilo and Negros Occidental and Region 7 that groups Bohol, Cebu, Negros Oriental and Siquijor be included in the tally.

Citing reports coming from the ground, votes garnered by Roxas in the 10 provinces alone were at least 3.5 million, while Binay cornered only 1.3 million votes, which translates to a 2.18 million votes, according to Abad.

Hindi pa tapos ang laban na ito at talagang magiging mahigpit ang labanan (The fight is not yet over, but we admit it will be a tight finish),” Abad said.

Roxas confident of poll win, calls for respect of electoral process

May 13th, 2010

Liberal Party vice-presidential candidate Senator Mar Roxas today declared he will continue the fight to get the final vote counted as he insisted his bailiwick votes would give him victory in last Monday’s elections over his rival Makati Mayor Jejomar Binay.

Roxas also congratulated his standard bearer Senator Benigno S. Aquino III for his landslide victory, and expressed hope he would soon call him “Mr. President-elect” as soon as the winners in the May 10 elections are proclaimed.

Urging his supporters and the entire Filipino people to trust the democratic system, Roxas urged his supporters to remain calm and await the final results of the elections but said he is confident he won the elections.

In a press conference after attending a Mass celebrating his 53rd birthday in the LP headquarters in Cubao, Quezon City, Roxasexpressed confidence votes that remain untabulated from his bailiwicks in Regions 6, 7 and 8 will eventually give him victory in the May 10 elections.

Mataas ang aking kumpiyansa, at matatag ang aking paniniwala, na sa pagtatapos ng bilangan, tayo po ang mangunguna. Tabla ang numero sa lahat ng exit polls at nasa anim na milyong boto pa po ang hindi nabibilang (I have high confidence and I firmly believe that at the end of the counting, I will be then winner. The exit polls show a tie in the numbers and six million votes remain uncounted so far),” Roxas declared.

Brushing aside accusations from the camp of Makati Mayor Jejomar Binay that the LP is involved in efforts to rig the results, Roxas laughed this off as contrary to what he and Aquino has campaigned for and insisted this was a product of a black propaganda campaign aimed at conditioning public mind against his eventual victory.

Paying tribute to the peaceful and orderly conduct of last Monday’s elections as a basic element of the country’s democratic system, Roxas declared it was his obligation not only to his supporters but to the nation to make sure the last vote in last Monday’s elections are counted.

Malinaw sa akin — obligasyon ko sa bawat mamamayang Pilipino na ipagpatuloy ang ating laban hanggang mabilang ang pinakahuling boto. Hangga’t hindi tapos ang bilangan, tuloy na tuloy ang ating laban (It’s clear to me that it‘s my obligation to every Filipino to pursue the fight till the last vote is counted. Until then, the contest does not end),” Roxas said.

Transcript of LP Press Conference: Frank Drilon

May 12th, 2010

Statement by Frank Drilon followed by Q & A

The public should not be misled by the media reports and claims of Mayor Binay that he has already won the vice presidential race based on the Comelec count which has stopped at 78%. An average of 22% of all the precincts nationwide remain unreported due to delays caused by PCOS machines’ failure to transmit.

The results, in many instances, and in the case of my home city Iloilo, the losing mayoralty candidate, former Justice Raul Gonzalez, has even filed a petition to stop the transmission, obviously for political reasons. It is quite obvious that the 78% of the precincts included in the Comelec count does not yet reflect the true results of the election. The 22% that has not been reported represent approximately 7 million votes. And many of these unreported precincts come from the bailiwicks of Senator Mar Roxas. These are Regions 6, 7 and 8. There are enough votes in those regions to overcome the lead of 800,000 of Mayor Jejomar Binay. We are confident that at the end, the bailiwicks of Senator Mar Roxas will provide a winning margin for our Liberal Party candidate, although admittedly, it would be slim.

The Comelec has every legal right to stop at 78%. We recognize that we cannot compel them to continue up to 100% because they can assert that it is not part of their legal duty to proclaim the president and the vice president as this presides with Congress. They are only doing this in the interest of public service.

However, since they have stopped the counting, since Comelec has stopped the counting, the remaining 22% will be transmitted directly to the server situated in the Congress of the Philippines, in the Batasan, because that is where the national canvass will be done. Only at that time when this canvass is completed will the real winners be known.

And I will repeat, majority of these unreported precincts, of the remaining 22% would come mostly from the bailiwicks of Senator Mar Roxas in Region 6, 7 and 8. Therefore, we would want to warn the public not to believe any claims by the Binay camp that they are already the winners because that is farthest from the truth.

The Liberal Party or the campaign headquarters of Senator Mar Roxas are not delaying the count. Let me assure you of that. In fact, as I have cited earlier, in Iloilo City, it is the losing mayoralty candidate, former Justice Secretary Raul Gonzalez, who is delaying by filing a petition to stop the proclamation of the winners.

When all the reports are in, we expect Senator Mar Roxas will be declared the winner of the vice presidential race.

Legally, the Comelec is correct that while indeed there is no legal compulsion on the part of the Comelec to finish the count 100%. We wish that they will consider the public interest in this particular case and complete the count so that the people will know the result of the race for the vice presidency. We must remember that Congress convenes on May 31 yet and therefore, everybody will be kept hanging between now and maybe until the middle of June. That’s about a month. Public interest dictates that Comelec should finish 100% the canvassing of the vice presidential race. Otherwise, people will be on pins and needles. And all kinds of speculations will come in.

Thank you very much.

QUESTION AND ANSWER

Q: Mayor Binay had a press conference. They insist that special operations are being conducted, especially in the bailiwicks of Senator Mar. At ang operator daw po ay si former Defense Secretary Avelino ‘Nonong’ Cruz. Sinusubukan daw niyan I-manipulate iyong canvassing of votes?

DrilonWe deny that. There is no manipulation anywhere. You cannot manipulate the PCOS machines. How can you manipulate the PCOS machines? We do not have, I don’t think anyone has the technical capability to manipulate the PCOS machines. We deny that. There is no truth to that. That’s part of their propaganda.

Q:  Iyon daw pong mga elections returns sa Capiz and Roxas?

Drilon: I think the returns are already finished, in so far as Roxas city and Capiz are concerned. It was sent to me, I can look at it right now. (Capiz reports)

I have the final results of the province of Capiz. For 1 city and 14 municipalities out of 17. Binay is 82,536. Roxas is 112,071. If this is a bailiwick of Senator Mar Roxas, he leads by merely a 100,000. We deny and reject the allegation that we are manipulating these results. These have been reported.

Q: Binay seems to have a fixed lead of 800k?

Drilon: Well, yes but that’s because the votes from Regions 6, 7 and 8 have not yet been transmitted 100%. And therefore, it’s not a surprise that the lead has been maintained. Once the bailiwicks of Mar Roxas comes in, we are confident that we can overtake his lead.

Q: Hindi ba kayo nagtataka na baka daya lang itong 800,000?

Drilon: We are not the type who will make charges without the appropriate proof. We will continue to look at this but at this point, we are not prepared to make any charges.

Q: Where is Senator Roxas?

Drilon: I am not in a position to tell you. I do not know. I have been resting myself from the very difficult campaign.

Q: ???

Drilon: You know, Mayor Binay must be doing their own math. And I am sure that they have access also to these servers. And they are concerned that they could lose, that is why they are making these charges of manipulating the results in order to condition the minds of our people, that in case they lose, dinaya sila. That’s the usual trick that we should not fall into.

Q: Sabi ni Binay, gusto na niyang kausapin si Vice President Noli de Castro, baka daw po kasi magkaroon ng dayaan?

Drilon:  Si Noli de Castro? It’s his privilege to talk to anyone. But I assure everyone that our party or Sen. Mar Roxas, or anyone from our camp, are involved in any manipulation. Hindi po kami kasama at wala pong kahit anong manipulasyon ng resulta ng halalan. Kami po’y naniniwala na kapag nakapasok na ang mga boto sa mga bailiwicks ni Senator Mar Roxas ay sa Visayas region – sa 6, 7 and 8 – kaya pong mahabol ang lamang ni Mayor Jojo Binay.

Q: Nasan po si Senator Mar Roxas?

Drilon: Hindi ko po alam kung nasaan si Senator Mar Roxas. Ngunit dahilang ako ay taga-Region 6 and I have information from the ground as to what is happening in the canvassing there, the party has asked me to conduct this press briefing. Because for example in Iloilo, tapos na po ang canvassing. The Board of Canvassers were about to transmit the results but Secretary Raul Gonzalez, the losing mayoralty candidate, has filed a petition to stop the transmission of these results. So this shows that we are not the ones who are delaying. The fights in the local level are the ones affecting the quick canvassing of these votes from the Visayas.

But what is clear is that only 78% of the total national votes have been canvassed. And the 22% represents 7 million votes, most of them coming from the Visayas. And these are more than sufficient to overhaul the lead of Mayor Jojo Binay.

Q: Any specific figure dun sa mga bailiwicks? Why are you confident?

Drilon: I am confident because I have the actual results showing very substantial leads.

In Cebu. Cebu City, final and official. Roxas – 240,311. Binay – 91,246. We are basing our figures on what actually happened on the ground.

In the province of Antique, 13 out of the 18 municipalities.

Drilon, LP confident of a Roxas ‘hairline’ win

May 12th, 2010

Says Binay Camp is in panic, throwing wild accusations

Former Senate President Frank Drilon today said he and fellow Liberals are confident that the Aquino-Roxas tandem may end up victorious in the end, with Liberal vice presidential bet Senator Mar Roxas winning by a hairline.

He said 22% or up to roughly 6 million votes have yet to be transmitted to the servers of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) in Manila and have yet to be tallied, based on Comelec’s own pronouncement to stop its tally after accounting for 78% of votes cast.

“The voices of around five to six million voters have not yet been included in Comelec’s own tally. This gives us the confidence that Mar will win after all of this,” he said.

“Comelec stopped its tally after counting 78% of total votes cast, in deference to Congress who is mandated by law to canvass the votes for President and Vice President. Once the votes from our bailiwicks are fully transmitted to Comelec, we are hoping that Mar will catch up and take the number one spot,” he stressed.

He said the camp of Makati Mayor Jejomar Binay may have “done their own math,” and have seen the reality that their lead could disappear in thin air once the bailiwicks of Roxas, who delivered for the Liberal Party, are taken into account.

“They are now very, very worried that they could lose. And the best way for them to discredit any possible surge from us is to throw wild and outrageous accusations of so-called ‘special operations’ in Mindanao,” he said.

“Their allegations serve as a smokescreen to their own operations. Remember, it is the PDP-Laban which has always operated in Mindanao, and is known to be the principal operation that can deliver block votes from the area,” he stressed.

“And how can we, quote-unquote, ‘operate’ there, when there is a ‘fatwa’ against us?” referring to the ruling of an Ulama against voting Roxas and Drilon because of their strong stance against the Memorandum of Agreement on Ancestral Domain.

The LP Chairman said if 15-20% of the 76,340 precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machines have yet to transmit votes, then roughly 5-6 million votes have yet to be tallied. This assumes an average of 500 voters per PCOS, and a 75% voter turnout nationwide.

Drilon reported that in Iloilo, Roxas won by over one million votes over Mayor Binay. He also received information from former National Power Corp. president Jesus Alcordo in Cebu that Mar won by roughly 1.05 million votes over Binay in the vote-rich province; and from Negrenese businessman Bitay Lacson that Roxas’ lead there is in excess of 500,000 votes.

“This already gives Mar more than two million votes from these Visayan bailiwicks alone, as against Binay’s lead which now stands at roughly 800,000 votes,” he stressed.

Statement of Senator Mar Roxas

May 11th, 2010

As read by Quezon Rep. Erin Tañada

“Magandang gabi po sa inyo. Gusto ko lang magpaabot ng mensahe sa ating mga kababayan: Hangga’t hindi pa tapos ang bilangan, hindi pa tapos ang laban.

“The race as between me and my closest competitor is indeed very tight. However, it is not for me, or anybody for that matter, to say if we’ve already lost, or if we will win in the end. It is up to the sovereign will of the people.

“The Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting’s latest partial and unofficial tally as of this afternoon (as of 5:30pm –ed.) is based on roughly 85% of all election returns. This means roughly five million voters in more than 11,000 precincts have yet to be taken into consideration. Of this, roughly half are expected to come from our bailiwick regions. This just underscores that the fight is not yet over, and we should remain vigilant.

“At this point, I would like to thank: all our volunteers and supporters who have been guarding the people’s sacred right to vote; all the teachers and election officers who have been steadfast in their duty, in spite of the difficulty in navigating our new method of election.

“Most especially, I would like to thank the Filipino people for coming out to vote, despite the scorching heat of the sun; despite the long lines; and despite terror being sowed by some elements to compromise our democratic process.

“And at this point, I would like to make one more request: tuloy ang pagbabantay. Patuloy na maging mapagmatyag, hanggang sa kadulu-duluhan ng halalang ito. Sama sama po tayo, hindi natin pababayaan ang isa’t isa, tuloy ang laban.”

Aquino, Roxas condemn killing of 3 Abaya aides

May 10th, 2010

COMELEC failed to act on systematic harassment of LP Cavite men

Liberal Party standard-bearers Senators Noynoy Aquino and Mar Roxas today vehemently condemned the killing of the chief-of-staff of Cavite Rep. Joseph Emilio Aguinaldo “Jun” Abaya and two security agents from the Philippine Marines allegedly by members of the Bacoor police force.

Killed in the incident right in front of the Talaba Police Station were retired Col. Arnulfo Obillos, chief of staff of Congressman Abaya, and two Comelec-accredited security officers –Marine officer Mike Pilapil and a certain Sgt. Paraiso — who accompanied former Cavite Rep. Plaridel “Del” Abaya who went to the police station to secure the release of 11 supporters “abducted” by armed men early Monday morning.

The supporters were found by the older Abaya to have been arrested and confined in the Talaba police station.

Mariin naming kinokondena ang harapang karahasan na ito laban sa mataas na opisyal ng Partido Liberal. Kakatapos lang idulog ni Congressman Del ang iba’t ibang reklamo kaugnay ng halalan nang tinutukan na sila’t pinaslang sina Col. Obillos, Pilapil at Sgt. Paraiso (We sternly condemn this brutal assault against a high official of the Liberal Party. Congressman Del had just brought up election-related concerns with the police when the latter trained their guns at them and killed Col. Obillos, Pilapil and Sgt. Paraiso),” Aquino and Roxas said in a statement.

“We call on PNP Director General Jesus Versoza to step into this matter. He should relieve all the senior officers in this area, investigate the matter and hold all these police officers to account,” they stressed.

In an interview with the ABS-CBN News Channel, the Abayas’ counsel Atty. Reynaldo Robles said this is only part of the “systematic harassment” against the Abayas perpetrated allegedly by Bacoor Mayor Strike Revilla.

He said they sent two separate requests to the Commission on Elections on May 1 and May 8 to put Bacoor, Cavite under Comelec control because of these incidents of harassment, including the strafing of the house of the Abayas’ supporters and the throwing of a grenade at the Abayas’ residence.

He said the older Abaya went to the Talaba police station early morning today to secure the release of the 11 supporters detained at the police station.

After discussing the matter with the police, he went out and his security officers spotted a private vehicle carrying men with firearms, including a heavy machinegun, apparently waiting for them.

He said one of the passengers in the vehicle alighted, prompting the Marine officers to take protective measures to shield Abaya. The police officers from the police station then allegedly suddenly ganged up on the older Abaya, pointed their guns at him and his men and then attempted to disarm the Marine officers despite knowing they were accredited as security aides for the Abayas by the Comelec.

Despite the pleas for calm, the police officers shot the Marine officers point-blank, hitting Col. Obillos direct in the face and killing them instantly.

Aquino and Roxas said this gross violence should be blamed entirely on the police force and the Comelec as they have refused to act on repeated requests by the Abayas for the poll body to place Bacoor under its control.

LP slams continued harassment of party supporters

May 10th, 2010

The Liberal Party today criticized government agencies for failing to stop the continued harassment of its supporters, leaders and candidates throughout the country even on the eve of and while voters were trooping to the polling precincts on Election Day.

LP Director General Chito Gascon stressed government must ensure not only the orderly and successful conduct of the country’s first automated elections but also the security of the public, especially in areas experiencing violence and other untoward incidences.

“We condemn these attacks and abuses not only against our volunteers and supporters, but also against our democracy and the people’s right to vote,” he stressed.

“May labing-siyam nang taga-suporta ang Partido Liberal ang pinapatay mula nang magsimula ang halalan. Hinihiling namin sa Comelec at ang mga awtoridad na kumilos na para mapigilan na ang karahasang ito (Already 19 LP supporters have been killed since the start of the election season. We ask the Comelec and the authorities to act immediately to stop this violence),” he said.

He added that the Comelec should closely monitor several areas where violence has broken out, such as in Isabela province and in Zamboanga del Sur where 15 LP supporters have already been killed, and consider imposing Comelec control if the violence continues to escalate.

In Tumauini town in Isabela province yesterday, five volunteer poll watchers were mauled allegedly by incumbent Mayor Arnold Bautista and his police bodyguards. Three of these poll watchers are in critical condition.

In Gamu town, Isabela, policemen raided the house of Mayor Ando Cumigad, a supporter of LP and Isabela Gov. Grace Padaca, supposedly finding high-caliber weapons. Padaca’s fellow allies cried foul over the seeming police harassment.

Meanwhile, in Camarines Norte, volunteer-poll watchers of LP congressional candidate Wally Chato were illegally detained in a farm allegedly by supporters of his rival, former Camarines Norte Rep. Renato Unico.

In Capalonga town also in Camarines Norte, citizens are being terrorized allegedly by the group of Mayor Senandro Jalgalado, prompting Camarines Norte Gov. Egay Tallado and Rep. Liwayway Chato to personally confront him.

In Cavite, supporters of LP Secretary-General and Rep. Jose Emilio Aguinaldo “Jun” Abaya were reportedly abducted.

Roxas appeals to COMELEC to extend voting to 11:59pm

May 10th, 2010

Tells voters to ‘be patient, make sure your vote is cast’

Liberal Party President and vice-presidential candidate Senator Mar Roxas today asked the Commission on Elections to extend the voting hours up to 11:59 p.m. today to accommodate as much voters as possible, as he noted with alarm reports that many polling precincts in the country are clogged with long lines of voters both young and old failing to cast their vote because of impatience and frustration exacerbated by the hot and humid weather.

Roxas urged voters to not mind the long lines, bring snacks or even gaming gadgets or go along with friends or relatives to while away the time when they troop to the polling precincts so they can vote in this first-ever but chaotic automated elections.

He said he is overwhelmed by the enthusiasm of voters in participating in these elections, but at the same time is wary of long queues and glitches in the automated elections that could dismay and turn away voters.

Reports received from the field by Roxas and the LP headquarters in Cubao, Quezon City where the Aquino-Roxas Bantay Balota poll watch group is also based, indicate many voters have been turned off by the long queues they encountered in the polling precincts because of the breakdown of the precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machines or experienced a hard time trying to find their names in the voters’ list.

Even LP standard-bearer Senator Benigno S. Aquino III was a victim of a PCOS machine failure, and reported to media he had been waiting for almost three hours to be able to vote as of 1:00 pm.

The Comelec has already extended the voting to 7 p.m. from the original closing time of 6 p.m. today.

“Voters should not suffer disenfranchisement for what is clearly not their fault. The Comelec should consider additional hours to make sure all those who want to vote will be able to,” Roxas stressed.

Violence mounts against LP volunteers in Isabela

May 10th, 2010

Election violence erupted in the province of Isabela a day before the May 10 polls as Liberal Party (LP) supporters and volunteer poll watchers were threatened at gunpoint and mauled in two separate incidents.

In Tumauini, five volunteers were about to distribute poll watcher IDs when Mayor Arnold Bautista and his police body guards blocked them, forcibly took away the IDs, and mauled them, using long firearms. The victims are now confined at a hospital in Ilagan, with three of them in critical condition.

Meanwhile, 50 policemen in Gamu stormed the house of LP mayoralty candidate Ando Cumigad, and threatened at gunpoint the LP supporters there. The supporters were allegedly forced to kneel before they were roughed up.

People Power Volunteer Center head Dinky Soliman condemned the attacks against “volunteers who work without pay not only to count votes for Noynoy Aquino and Mar Roxas, but to make sure the elections are protected from fraud and abuse.”

Soliman said: “Already around 19 of our volunteers and supporters have been killed since the election period started. Is the government waiting for many more among us to get killed or mauled before they act? We hope not.”

Roxas votes early in Roxas City School

May 10th, 2010

LP President hopeful of clean and orderly elections

Liberal Party president and vice-presidential candidate Senator Manuel “Mar” Roxas today voted early in a local school in the capital city of Roxas City in Capiz province as his practice every election.

Roxas joined members of his family, including his wife Korina Sanchez-Roxas and his mother Judy Araneta–Roxas, in lining up with other voters before casting his vote in Precinct No. CP (clustered precinct) 7 (or 022A, his original precinct) in the Rufina Andrada Santos Memorial School in Jose Rizal Street, Barangay V in Roxas City.

Roxas started to cast his vote at exactly 7:59 a.m.

After voting, Roxas told media persons who accompanied him that he is praying that the elections would be clean, honest and orderly.

He urged voters to go out and cast their vote in the first-ever automated elections in the country.

Dapat lang na gamitin natin ang ating karapatan at ihalal ang nais nating maging mga bagong lider ng ating bansa (Let’s use our right to vote for and elect the leaders we want for our country),” Roxas said.

Roxas flew back immediately to Manila where he would monitor the elections at the LP headquarters in Cubao, Quezon City along with his presidential candidate, Senator Noynoy Aquino who voted in Tarlac City in Tarlac province.