International Observers Watch Elections in Cebu

Manila Bulletin, May 15, 2007 | Go to article overview

International Observers Watch Elections in Cebu


CEBU CITY -- A group of foreigners is in Cebu to watch elections in this vote-rich province which gave President Arroyo a one million-vote margin against the late actor Fernando Poe Jr. in the 2004 presidential elections.

"We are interested in seeing if Arroyo's local bets will win," Fr. Diony Cabillas of the Iglesia Filipina Independiente said.

Cabillas, who serves as the vice team leader of the Cebu delegation of the People's International Observers' Mission (IOM), is the lone Filipino in the four-man observer team in Cebu.

The three others were American Elizabeth Hendrickson, Mexican Minerva Gutierrez, and Father Art Calaycay, a Filipino-American based in Canada.

The three foreigners are among the 25 foreign delegates from the United States, Canada, and the European Union who will be observing the conduct of the elections across the country.

Aside from Cebu, the teams of foreign observers are in the National Capital Region, Nueva Ecija, Quezon, Sorsogon, Lanao, and Compostela Valley.

"This is not the first time that we have foreign observers. We've had them in the 2001 and 2004 elections," Cabillas said.

Cabillas said the team will "try to see what happens in the polling centers" and "how we go about the canvassing of votes. …

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