FEARING this could seriously affect the integrity of the May 9 elections, senatorial candidate Leyte Rep. Martin Romualdez said yesterday Commission on Elections (Comelec) chairman Andres Bautista should motu propio (on its own) or even without a lodged complaint investigate the alleged cheating in the ongoing Overseas Absentee Voting (OAV).
While he is readying a letter-complaint, Romualdez said the Comelec should not ignore why his vote from a certain Andresa Amba in the OAV in Hong Kong was allegedly credited to his good friend, senatorial candidate and Bayan Muna party-list Rep. Neri Colmenares.
Romualdez said the poll body should immediately look into this because there is a seeming pattern like in the case of vice presidential candidate Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. whose votes in absentee voting in Hong Kong, Dubai, Kuwait and Okinawa were counted for rival Sen. Gregorio Honasan.
“The Comelec can initiate a motu propio investigation to verify this very crucial incident that was reported in Hong Kong and other parts of the world. It is within their power to investigate any possible serious misconduct,” Romualdez pointed out on the incident where Amba reportedly told the Comelec representative about the discrepancy and only “took note” of the complaint.
“They have to act with dispatch because this may affect the integrity and outcome of the elections. Their mandate is to ensure peaceful, clean and honest polls and they should immediately act to stop any illegal, unjust and improper activities this coming election. We have to determine if any crime or offense has been committed,” Romualdez stressed.
Romualdez vowed to file a letter-complaint pending documentation of the alleged possible cheating in the ongoing AOV.
“Of course we will file a letter-complaint. We are now working for possible proof or leads of the supposed wrongdoing. But what I am saying is that Comelec cannot just ignore this very serious allegation of possible fraud in the election process,” Romualdez explained.
Earlier, Romualdez said the Comelec and Smartmatic-Total Information Management (TIM) Corp. should explain the alleged discrepancies between actual votes on the ballot and the printed voters’ receipts during OAV.
The Leyte House opposition leader said even Neri will protest the reported discrepancies in the printing of voters’ receipts.
Abakada party-list Rep. Jonathan de la Cruz and Colmenares joined Romualdez in demanding a thorough explanation from the Comelec.
De la Cruz sent a letter to Comelec chair Andres Bautista asking him to seriously look into the matter, explaining Marcos also allegedly had a similar experience.
“These reports which have been widely circulated in both traditional and social media, if true, are definitely disturbing and a cause of great concern to us all,” said de la Cruz in his letter to Bautista.