Pimentel: Show proof of poll fraud

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — Former Sen. Aquilino "Nene" Pimentel Jr. called on parties or individuals claiming to have been cheated on or witnessed cheating in the recent polls to "show proof" to cement the legitimacy of their complaints.

In a forum held in Quezon City on Saturday (May 21), Pimentel said cheating allegations won't have any bearing if there is lack of evidence.

"Kung merong anomaly, anyone who says it, come out with a proof. Madali kasi sabihin na daming dayaan don, pero pagdating sa pruweba, wala, puro salita lang," said Pimentel.

[Translation: If there is anomaly, anyone who says it, come out with a proof. It's easy to say that there's cheating, but when it comes to providing proof, there is nothing to show but words.]

The forum was also attended by volunteer poll watchers of Sen. Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. from Mindanao who claimed to have received reports of cheating in some areas in the region, allegedly to favor the ruling Liberal Party (LP).

Also read: Comelec, Smartmatic on software alteration: Cosmetic change, no effect on results

The poll watchers said they have gathered several affidavits from individuals who allegedly witnessed first-hand how some voters in far-flung areas in Basilan, Maguindanao, and Lanao del Sur were not allowed to cast their votes.

"Itong nangyayaring ito is a violation of human rights kasi nawawala na karapatan ng tao na bumoto dahil na-ma-manipulate ng sampu o ilang mga tao na nandoon sa presinto na bumoboto para sa kanila," said Victor Abillo, a community devevlopment officer and peace advocate.

[Translation: The current situation is a violation of human rights because the people's right to suffrage is nullified, as a number of people manipulates the votes in the precincts.]  

However, the poll watchers admitted they have yet to file any formal complaints before the Commission on Elections (Comelec) since they are still waiting guidance from the Marcos camp.

Also read: Marcos supporter files complaint vs. Smartmatic, Comelec people

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While Pimentel said affidavits are not enough to prove irregularities in the polls, he still urged the Comelec to look into the allegations.