‘Arroyo really won in Cebu’–Provincial Comelec | Inquirer News
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‘Arroyo really won in Cebu’–Provincial Comelec

/ 07:26 PM July 25, 2011

Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo won the 2004 presidential elections in Cebu fair and square.

“You could not do poll fraud” in the province, said Lionel Marco Castillano, provincial supervisor who served as election officer in Daanbantayan in 2004.

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“You could see that in the voting and in the canvassing of votes in the precinct, all parties were represented. We can say that cheats could not get into the canvassing,” Castiallano told Cebu Daily News.

He said the province installed projectors for the counting of votes for president could be monitored.

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“When the chairman of the board of canvassersread the number of votes, the number was flashed on screen together with a running,” he said.

Legislators in the country are looking into reinvestigating the Hello Garci poll fraud controversy after former Maguindanao governor Zaldy Ampatuan and former election officer Lintang Bedol confirmed that the 2004 and 2007 elections were manipulated.

Castillano said only Congress has the authority to conduct the canvassing of the election results for the positions of vice president and president.

If there was election fraud, a fact-finding investigation should be conducted, Castillano said.

Castillano said Arroyo had a lead of about 1 million votes over Fernando Poe Jr., her closest rival in the 2004 presidential race in Cebu.

“I was asked before by (ABS-CBN news anchor) Julius Babao why Arroyo had so many votes. Remember that all the leading gubernatorial candidates at that time were all for GMA,” he said.

Castillano noted that Poe, unlike Arroyo, had no local candidates.

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“If he had any, we can say they had no machinery,” he said.

“In Daanbantayan, I gave his lawyers copies of election returns. C-Cimpel (Cebu Citizens’ Involvement for Maturation of People Empowerment and Liberation) would stand by the result of Cebu,” he added.

Poe was “well represented” by lawyers in all canvassing areas in Cebu, Castillano said.

Bedol was the Comelec supervisor in Maguindanao during the 2007 polls, where a 12-0 sweep of the administration senatorial candidates triggered allegations of fraud.

The House committees on suffrage and electoral reforms and good government will hold a hearing on the claims made by Ampatuan and Bedol after President Aquino’s State of the Nation Address today. Carmel Loise Matus, Correspondent

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