Comelec-Lanao Sur awaits complaint on alleged ‘pre-shaded’ ballots

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MARAWI CITY — The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has yet to receive reports on the alleged “pre-shading” of ballots during the voting process in Lanao del Sur and Marawi City on May 13. 

Provincial election supervisor Allan Kadon said this on Friday after video footage surfaced on social media showing a woman, wearing a long red dress and light brown scarf, shading ballots piled in front of her.

The woman was sitting on an armchair inside what appears to be a classroom.

It happened in one of the voting centers in Marawi City, according to a source.

In the video, another person is seen passing the ballots, which he seemingly helped shade. Several people were seen watching the woman, said to be a member of the electoral board, a source added.

The source provided the name and the contact number of the woman, who did not respond to the text message and call sent by the Philippine News Agency (PNA).

Another video of a woman pre-shading ballots was posted on social media, stating it was in Maguing town, Lanao del Sur. Two persons were seen in the video helping the woman, said to be a member of the electoral board, shading the thick pile of ballots on an armchair.

“For those who (have) personal knowledge na sila talaga ang nandoon (who were there), sila ang kumuha ng (and they were the ones who took the) picture or video, they can file appropriate charges against the teachers or kung sinuman ang mga (or whoever the) perpetrators (are),” Kadon said.

Prayer rally

Meanwhile, more than a thousand residents of Marawi on Friday morning gathered at the covered hall of Jamiatu Muslim Mindanao in Barangay Matampay in this city to hold a prayer rally, condemning the reported massive fraud and vote buying here and in Lanao del Sur.

The residents — some of them middle-aged women, the elderly and the youth — were joined by defeated candidates who ran for city and provincial posts.

They called on President Rodrigo Duterte to intervene and to declare a failure of elections, especially in Marawi City.

Children brought campaign posters, which they recycled into placards, and with their sentiments written on them:

“Vote buying doesn’t help Marawi rise again, think about it”, “Massive cheating happened in LDS (Lanao del Sur) election 2019, Expose them!”

Lawyer Ramayan Basman, a Marawi mayoral candidate under the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino – Lakas ng Bayan (PDP Laban), said they have witnesses, including watchers, who executed affidavits that they have seen the manipulations at the barangay level.

“We have videos wherein yung mga (the) BEIs (board of election inspectors) mismo (themselves were) pre-shading ballots,” Basman said in an interview, adding they also have a video of vote buying.

On Wednesday, the Comelec proclaimed re-electionist Majul Gandamra and his teammate as winners in Marawi City. Basman ranked fourth.

Norodin Alonto Lucman, who was running for Lanao del Sur’s provincial vice governor, has accused the Adiong clan of masterminding the massive fraud and anomalies.

Incumbent Vice Governor Mamintal Alonto Adiong is running for provincial governor while his 25-year-old son, Mujam, is running for vice governor.

Mamintal’s brother, Ansaruddin, is running for congressman in the first district of Lanao del Sur.

Their mother, Soraya Alonto Adiong, is incumbent provincial governor but did not run for any elective position.
Mamintal and Ansaruddin are Lucman’s nephews.

Winners of the provincial positions in Lanao del Sur have not yet been proclaimed due to delayed canvassing in some municipalities brought about by defective SD cards.

As of 2 p.m. Friday, the Adiong clan gained a wide margin of votes against their opponents.

Lucman, in an interview, accused the barangay chairmen, the electoral board, Comelec officials and some officers of the Armed Forces of the Philippines as those behind the cheating.

Adiong, in a separate interview, said the Comelec has created a task force to look into reported vote buying and it would be better to wait for the result of their investigation.

“Yun ang aksiyon ng Comelec para masagot ang mga alegasyon ng mga natalong kandidato (That is up to Comelec’s action to answer the allegations of the candidates),” Adiong said.

Lanao del Sur’s provincial election supervisor and the provincial police have issued a certification on May 17 that no complaint involving election offense and issue has reached their respective offices. -PNA

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