Olongapo SubicBay BatangGapo Newscenter

Saturday, June 02, 2007

For losing bets, elections are far from over

BOTOLAN, Zambales—A losing mayoral candidate here has appealed for government intervention and investigation over what he called “fraudulent and dirty elections” in the town on May 14.

In a handwritten statement sent to the Inquirer, Vice Mayor More Lim, who lost to reelectionist Mayor Rogelio Yap, said the local elections were marred by massive vote-buying and fraud, which he blamed on Yap.

Lim, who ran under the opposition party Partido ng Masang Pilipino, said his Aeta supporter, Flori de la Cruz of Barangay Belbel, was allegedly harassed and threatened by Yap’s men.

“Our supporters’ situation here was pitiful. Apart from the fact that many of them failed to vote, many were forced to accept money in exchange for their votes. If they refused, they were threatened,” he said.

But Yap dismissed Lim’s allegations, saying he has proof that it was Lim who initiated vote buying in their town.

The mayor said Lim then blamed his camp for distributing money and food to voters.

“The Commission on Elections should investigate Lim instead. It should ask Lim for a statement of his actual election expenses,” Yap said.

Comelec records showed that Yap received 17,369 votes while Lim got 4,369 votes.
By Cesar Villa, Cristina Arzadon - Inquirer

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