LP denies sinister motives behind Comelec appointments-A A +A
Tuesday, March 12, 2013
THE ruling Liberal Party denied on Tuesday that President Benigno Aquino III's decision to appoint new officials of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) was related to his plan to ensure a 12-0 victory for the Team PNoy bets in the May 13 elections.
Navotas Representative Tobias Tiangco, UNA secretary general and campaign manager, said earlier that there was a "sinister agenda" behind the appointment of former congressman Macabangkit Lanto as one of two new commissioners of the poll body.
Lanto was forced to turn down his appointment Monday following issues that marred his looming entry to the Comelec. Among them was his removal from his post as Lanao del Norte representative in 1994 after he was found to have benefited from electoral fraud during the 1992 elections.
Lanto was recommended by Senator Franklin Drilon, now campaign manager of the administration-backed coalition Team PNoy, to the President.
Aside from Lanto, election law expert Bernadette Sardillo was also appointed by Aquino to Comelec but she declined the offer and decided to stay in private practice.
The two appointees were supposed to take the seats of retired poll commissioners Armando Velasco and Rene Sarmiento.
"People who are claiming that this is part of a conspiracy to cheat in the May elections are watching too much soap operas. This is nothing more than a case of some systems failure in exercising due diligence in as far as the appointees are concerned before their papers were forwarded to the president for his signature," LP secretary general and Western Samar Representative Mel Senen Sarmiento said in a press statement.
Sarmiento said that if the administration plans to cheat in the midterm polls, Sardillo would not even be considered for the Comelec post as among her clients were politicians who belong to the opposition.
Sardillo was the lawyer of former Isabela governor Benjamin Dy, who filed an election protest against now Comelec Commissioner Grace Padaca. The Comelec then ruled that Dy won the 2007 elections.
"It really doesn't make any sense if the President would appoint someone with strong professional connections with the political opposition and then use her to cheat for the administration. All these conspiracy talks are nothing but pure fiction," Sarmiento said.
Iloilo Representative Jerry Treñas, meanwhile, said that UNA is trying to create issues to win sympathy votes for its senatorial candidates who have been lagging behind in pre-election surveys.
"Unfortunately, UNA is trying to fan the fire in a desperate attempt to reverse the irreversible which is an administration sweep in the May 2013 senatorial elections. It's just too obvious," Treñas said.
Recent surveys conducted by the Social Weather Stations and Pulse Asia indicate that most Filipinos will vote for majority of Team PNoy candidates in the May polls. (Kathrina Alvarez/Sunnex)