Osmena Raises Questions over Fire at Comelec

Article excerpt

Byline: HANNAH TORREGOZA

The fire that struck the main building of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) in Intramuros, Manila is raising suspicions that the poll body is "hiding something fishy," Genuine Opposition (GO) senatorial candidate John Osmena said yesterday.

"I think it's a big fish. Siguro meron talaga silang itinatago. Kung merong sunog siguradong merong gustong sunugin. Ang tanong, ano ba ang mga iskandalong kinasangkutan ng Comelec na hindi pa nalaman at itinatago pa na sinunog nila ngayon. Ano ba ang sinunog nila? (Maybe they are hiding something, When there's fire, they want something burned. What scandal the Comelec is involved in that they have to hide it in fire?" Osmena said, during the group's campaign rally in Binondo, Manila, not far from the Comelec office.

"It's a bad omen. It's not really the Ides yet, but this is March. That's why it is a very bad sign," Sonia Roco, another opposition senatorial candidate, said.

Roco said that although the cause of fire at the Comelec could have been attributed to faulty electrical wiring, the timing is doubtful, considering that there is a fire station near the poll body's office.

"There are people who don't want the election to push through," Roco said. "We must also remember who is responsible for the safety of our institutions if not the government? Now, the Comelec, is at the center of it all and they need to deliver an orderly, peaceful and honest election. Eh, nasunog yung Comelec. Iimbestigahan ito ngayon. Ako'y nangangamba (I'm afraid we willo investigate it now)," Roco said.

The GO senatorial aspirants called on the public to be vigilant against a possibility of another "massive cheating in the May 14 elections."

"Dapat bantayang mabuti ang bilangan ng balota (We have to guard strictly the counting of ballots)," Osmena said.

Osmena said the Comelec fire should not be used as an excuse by authorities to postpone the May polls.

"The people will not allow that to happen. Besides they need a law for this. They cannot just suspend elections unless we have martial law," he said.

"Is it just a stroke of faith? The people should be more vigilant then," Roco seconded. (Hannah L. Torregoza)

Trillanes says he will

ask court to reconsider

its decision on his case

Detained senatorial candidate and Magdalo leader Antonio Trillanes said yesterday that he will file a motion for reconsideration before the Makati Regional Trial Court so he could wage a decent campaign for the May 14 elections.

In a statement, the Genuine Opposition (GO) candidate said that he, through his legal counsel, will file the motion before the sala of Branch 148 Judge Oscar Pimentel who earlier junked his request for media access in his detention place at Fort Bonifacio, Taguig .

"I refuse to believe that this is part of a systematic plan to deny me the fair and reasonable opportunity to wage a decent senatorial campaign, " Trillanes said. …