Comelec denies poll fraud in Maguindanao
MANILA, Philippines — The Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Monday denied there was poll fraud in Maguindanao after a ballot box was found submerged in a swampy area behind a municipal office in Datu Salibo town in that province.
According to Sam Zailon Esmael, a mayoral candidate who lost his bid to be mayor of Datu Salibo, the ballot box was found near the municipality office of his town. He said the box still contained ballots used in the recently concluded elections.
“Narito rin po ang mga boto ng mga tao kung saan nilubog o pinalubog ng Comelec para maisagawa niya ang pandadayang kanilang ginawa para maipanalo niya ang winning candidate na si Solaiman Sandigan for mayor,” Esmael said in a Facebook post.
[Here are the votes of the people that were submerged by the Comelec so it could cheat to make Solaiman Sandigan win as mayor.]
Ito po ang ballot box n natagpuan ng isang BPAT ng brgy sambulawan datu salibo mag.n kslukuyang nangingisda s likod ng…
The Comelec, however, denied the Esmael’s allegation, saying that the ballot box was “stolen from the municipal office by still unidentified persons.”
“The Commission on Elections strongly denies allegations of poll fraud in the 2019 elections made by a certain Mr. Sam Zailon Esmael in his social media post on 14 June 2019,” the Comelec said in a statement.
“As mandated by law, custody of ballot boxes after election day is with the city or municipal treasurer of the locality. Ali A. Mamoribid, the municipal treasurer of Datu Salibo, asserts the ballot box found allegedly submerged and abandoned had been stolen from the municipal office by still unidentified persons,” the Comelec added.
Datu Salibo election officer Mary Ann Marohombsar also said the elections conducted in the municipality was fraud-free.
“Mamoribid is presently in close coordination with Marohombsar and the COMELEC in the province of Maguindanao in aid of investigation being conducted by the Philippine National Police,” the Comelec said.
The Comelec advised the public to be cautious with “unfounded claims and malicious allegations” that aim to tarnish the credibility of the elections.
“Actions are now being taken to set the facts straight and hold to account those who are responsible,” the Comelec said.
(Editor: Alexander T. Magno)
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