'Emano may face charges for dumped poll materials'

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Friday, June 25, 2010

MANILA-- Cagayan de Oro Mayor-elect Vicente Y. Emano could be held liable for the election materials recovered from a dumpsite in Cagayan de Oro last month, a renowned political analyst in the country said.

Ramon C. Casiple, executive director of the Institute for Political and Electoral Reform, said Emano could be criminally charged if proven that he was involved in throwing the election returns, Compact Flash cards and other election paraphernalia belonging to the Commission on Elections (Comelec).

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"Even if Emano admitted only in ordering the throwing of the sample ballots of his political party, he would still be questioned why the sample ballots got mixed up with election paraphernalia and genuine CF cards," Casiple said in an interview Thursday at the Diamond Hotel, where he presented a post-election assessment during the 14th National Press Forum sponsored by the Philippine Press Institute.

"You're not supposed to throw away government property," he said, adding the mayor-elect has a lot of explaining to do on the issue.

Casiple also called as "questionable" the reported multiple transmission of election returns in several clustered precincts in Cagayan de Oro.

He said once the Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS) machine has already transmitted the data, the main server would automatically block the succeeding transmissions from the same machine.

He suspected that the CF cards used in the transmission were "not genuine" that's why there were multiple transmissions.

Earlier, the camp of defeated mayoralty candidate Rolando Uy accused Emano and his camp of cheating in the May 10 elections, citing, among others, the election paraphernalia recovered from the city landfill in Upper Dagong, Barangay Carmen.

The recovered election paraphernalia included sample ballots of Emano's party, which were placed in sacks.

More than a month after the poll materials were recovered, Emano admitted having ordered a department head to throw PaDayon Pilipino party's sample ballots in the afternoon of May 10 using a government vehicle.

Hours earlier, that same vehicle, a mini-dump truck, was recorded by landfill personnel as the one that dumped the Comelec properties.

Emano has denied having a hand in the dumping of any election paraphernalia other than his party's sample ballots. (Terry D.C. Betonio)

Emano may face charges dumped poll materials

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