300 suspected ‘flying voters’ held
Police rounded up some 300 suspected “flying voters” in Maguindanao for investigation after impounding chartered vehicles transporting people to voters’ registration centers of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) yesterday.
“We strongly condemn this act by people who allow themselves to be used,” Governor Esmael Mangudadatu said. “I strongly appeal to the President and to Comelec Chair (Sixto) Brillantes to annul the old list of voters starting today and conduct a totally new registration of voters using the biometric system.”
At least 50 of the people hauled to police stations were minors, said Chief Inspector Abubakar Mangelen Jr., head of the provincial police mobile group.
Jeepneys and Elf trucks with suspected multiple registrants on board were halted at police and military checkpoints in Rajah Buayan, Sultan sa Barongis, Datu Unsay and Saidona towns.
“They told us they were hired to register as voters, but they have yet to tell us who hired them so we can file appropriate charges against these people,” Mangelen said.
Mangudadatu said Brillantes might have abandoned his earlier stand for the annulment of the old voters’ list in Maguindanao and other parts of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao and for the conduct of a general registration using the biometric method.
“We have to stop the continuing registration of voters since this has already been marred by reports of registration irregularities,” the governor said.
Brillantes, during a recent visit here, said the government would need at least P850 million to do away with the old voters’ list and start a fraudulent-free registration.