Saturday, June 23, 2007


Iligan City- More than a month since the May 14 elections, the 1st congressional district of Iligan City and Lanao del Norte still has no proclaimed candidate for congress. According to Atty. Abundiente, lawyer of (GO) Genuine Opposition congressional candidate Varf Belmonte, the scheduled hearing last June 21 did not materialize because the lawyers of the other candidates were not present for the said hearing. Instead, the hearing was rescheduled to June 28.

Atty. Abundiente was optimistic that the ‘tampered’ COCs will be junked as the Comelec panel who were present asked for the presentation of the untampered COCs which are issued to the Namfrel-PPCRV and the other parties. Sources told that the lawyer of the other candidate, Imelda “Angging” Dimaporo, did not attend to the said hearing because the appropriate case is not in the jurisdiction of the Comelec but to the Electoral Tribunal in Congress. However, Abundiente junked the basis on the statement of Dimaporo’s lawyers for the reason that the cases filed to the Electoral Tribunal in Congress is intended for political positions that have already proclaimed a candidate and that the Provincial Board of Canvassers in Tubod, Lanao del Norte were not able to proclaim a representative for the first disctrict of Lanao del Norte.

It can be recalled that the results of the canvassing of May 14, 2007 elections, Belmonte led over his counterparts in the congressional race with a margin of seventeen thousand (17,000) votes over Nikki Badelles, daughter of incumbent congressman Alipio Badelles, and Imelda Dimaporo, incumbent governor of the same province, respectively. But as the canvassing in the Provincial level continued, the three ballot boxes, which were said to be inside the Vice Governor's office, were found with its locks destroyed and forcibly opened with its COC contents tampered through the use of a 'snowpick', an office supply used by brushing a certain text area in any type of document for correction. When the COCs were canvassed, the results of the total votes were not the same as the other COCs which are issued to the Namfrel-PPCRV and the other parties.

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