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Lakas-CMD hits election violence in Cavite, Leyte

The Lakas Christian Muslim Democrats on Tuesday condemned the election-related violence in Cavite and Leyte, saying that the “May 13, 2013 elections “depicted a rendition of how the administration manipulated its tentacles of power to ensure victory of his candidates, the antithesis to the cliche ‘tuwid na daan.’” Lakas-CMD president, House Deputy Minority Leader and Leyte Rep. Ferdinand Martin Romualdez was referring to the incidents in the first district of Leyte, where he is running for Congress and in the province of Cavite of Sen. Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr.,  the Lakas-CMD chairman. Romualdez said that this year’s elections “have never been worse in terms of the government’s use and abuse of its resources, including the local Philippine National Police.” It accused the Aquino government of using the Commission on Elections deputized enforcement agencies, like the PNP, in “assisting its own candidates in the commission of election violations such as vote buying and harassment of voters. “We stand firm and united in condemning the recent incidents perpetrated by certain public agencies such as the PNP against the two stalwarts of our party, me and Sen. Bong Revilla,” he added. In Cavite, the Lakas-CMD said the government purposely denied protection to the basic rights of Revilla and instigated conflict by instituting political propaganda, planting fabricated allegations against the truth that should have prevailed. “Instead of protecting the security and safety of our Chairman and his family, the administration threw its arm by falsely accusing him of crimes he never committed only for some political agenda,” the party said. In Leyte, Romualdez said, administration candidates freely roamed around their towns side by side with PNP officers buying votes, creating fear in voters by flaunting firearms. “Assuming its role as deputized Comelec elections enforcers, police officers instead pioneered the institution of election violations in specific towns and cities such as Babatngon, San Miguel, and Tacloban,” Romualdez said. He added that they have “personal accounts of witnesses and video footages” to prove that police officers escorted administration candidates right in front of polling places in broad day light in buying votes.” With all these election related-violence in his province, Romualdez said “elections have never been this worse in Leyte’s history.” “All types of political maneuvers have been utilized, and almost all types of election violations have been committed.” Meanwhile, Justice Secretary Leila De Lima has ordered an investigation into the arrest of agents of the National Bureau of Investigation in Bacoor City in Cavite hours before the elections on Monday. “I immediately gave verbal instructions yesterday (Monday) to NBI Director (Nonnatus) Rojas to probe that incident.” She also met with the chief of the NBI Cavite district office and the leader of the arrested team on Monday morning. “Based on their narration and supporting documentary proofs, it would seem that the NBI team was actually engaged in a legitimate operations.” She, however, admitted that that operation was “under a cloud of doubt” after it was found out that some members of the team were “confidential agents.” “As you know, we no longer recognize confidential agents. I had their authorities revoked or cancelled already,” she said. De Lima ordered Rojas to determine “what legal actions may be taken in relation to the engagement of confidential agents.” Police said the six agents - Honor Santos, Efifanio Baria, Rosauro Estardo, Rizalos Ronario, Danilo Cruz, and Frederick Galvez – were arrested for violating election gun ban. With Rey E. Requejo and Francisco Tuyay
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