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Poe fears ‘repeat’ of 2004 cheating

Senator Grace Poe yesterday expressed concern about reports that several vote counting machines (VCMs) were found in a hotel located in the Araneta Complex owned by the family administration standard bearer Mar Roxas.

The Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV) earlier claimed that several VCMs were discovered in rooms in Novotel Cubao, sparking fears of a government-perpetrated poll cheating.

‘‘Kailangan talaga mapuntahan iyan agad para maimbestigahan. Maraming salamat sa PPCRV sa kanilang pagbabantay,’’ Poe told reporters after casting her vote at the Sta. Lucia Elementary School in San Juan City.

Poe recalled a similar incident in the 2004 polls where several ballots were found in a hotel.

‘‘Sa ating mga kababayan, nangyari po iyan nung 2004 kung saan ang ilang mga balota ay nakatago sa isang hotel. Ang mga nasa likod ng ganyang operasyon ay mga batikan na mga operators. Huwag po nating payagan na maulit ang ganyan.”

But Commission on Elections chairman Andres Bautista personally went to Novotel to conduct an inspection with his team. He said no VMCs were found in the said hotel.

‘‘Wala kaming nakitang mga VCMs sa mga kwarto. Hindi lang kwarto ng mga Smartmatic kundi pati mga katabing kwarto,’’ Bautista said.

‘‘Ang panawagan ko na lang din, sana huwag basta bastang magbibigay ng mga balita na walang pruweba o ebidensya.

Makikita niyo ang daming oras na nasayang.” (ABS-CBN News)

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