Petition filed to nullify election results: DILG execs hit over SK election anomalies

>> Monday, December 24, 2007


BAGUIO CITY — Eleven Sangguniang Kabataan chairpersons in this city asked the Regional Trial Court to declare null and void the results of the recent SK federation elections due to alleged anomalies and the "martial-law type" electoral process supervised by the Department of Interior and Local Government.

In a 14-page petition, the SK chairpersons also demanded the nullification of the proclamation of the winners, saying the election was an “outright mockery and a definite sham” as it was railroaded by some DILG personnel and the camp of one of the candidates for SK federation president. They alleged that the result of election was "pre-determined and does not genuinely reflect the collective will of the SK chairpersons."

The petitioners include SK chairperons Nick Tauli of Central Guisad, Dondi M. Basongit of Gabriela Silang, Caren T. Salingbay of Malcolm Square, Kathleene Camille M. Bilog of Padre Zamora, John Lester V. Gacad of Crescencia Village, Richard C. Masadao of Hillside, Evangeline S. Belde of Gibraltar, Uriel F. Pangket of Kias, Lorraine G Allad-iw of Balsigan, and Erwin S. Ang of HarrisonClaudio-Carantes.

The parents of the petitioners also signed the petition because their children are minors. The petitioners alleged imposition of "martial-law type" of elections by the DILG virtually prevented them from exposing what they called blatant anomalies in the conduct of the SK elections. The complainants said that there was an obvious manipulation of the SK elections by some DILG personnel, noting that it scheduled the Integrated Sangunniang Kabataan Orientation Leadership and Re-orientation-Basic Orientation Seminar for the new set of SK officials for only one day instead of the usual three days.

They said they had found out other candidates for SK federation president were assigned rooms on the third floor of Venus Hotel here, while Gloria Ysabel V. de Vera was assigned on the fourth floor together with most of the 122 chairpersons. They also alleged that at the same time, Evelyn Trinidad, officer-in-charge of the DILG in the city, ordered all the SK chairpersons to surrender their SIM cards to her and her staff to ensure the attention of participants to the lectures and to avoid unnecessary text messages circulating among the participants.

But some of the participants had two SIM cards that proved useful in the discovery of the irregularities in the holding of the election, they said. After the SIM cards were taken by the DILG personnel, they related, Trinidad announced the imposition of a curfew and that all the participants should remain in their rooms, they also said. Anybody caught violating the rule would be sent home. Trinidad reportedly warned the participants.

Despite the ban on campaigning, the petitioners said that the group of De Vera, allegedly accompanied by some policemen and DILG personnel, roamed around the fourth floor to campaign for its candidates. The other candidates billeted on the third floor abided by the rule, they said. They likewise alleged that the DILG had adapted the so-called coding scheme in which the numbers in the name tags were similar to their seat assignments and the same number assigned to the ballots they filled up during the voting


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