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Bacolod City, Philippines Monday, May 20, 2013
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Another Negrense
gets Congress seat

BY CARLA GOMEZ

Another Negrense yesterday said he regained his congressional seat in the May 13 polls.

Bayan Muna mustered enough votes for at least two seats in Congress and its number one nominee is Rep. Neri Colmenares, who was born in Bacolod City.

The Bayan Muna second nominee is Carlos Isagani Zarate of Mindanao, and the third is Hope Hervilla.

Colmenares said they are waiting for the COMELEC to count the rest of the votes in areas where Precinct Count Optical Scan machines malfunctioned to determine if Bayan Muna will get a third seat in Congress.

He noted that 18,000 PCOS machines, or 23 percent of the total, malfunctioned.

Those are a lot of machines that malfunctioned, that Smarmatic Corp. that supplied them needs to answer for, he said.

Delay in transmission of poll results is cause for worry, that is when fraud can happen, he said.

Colmenares said he is a member of the Joint Congressional Oversight Committee for the Automated Elections that will thoroughly discuss the problems with the PCOS machines that endangered the recent elections.

“If there is one thing sure, we will fight that Smarmatic is finished…we will not allow it to endanger the 2016 elections. We will fight tooth and nail that Smartmatic does not interfere in the next election,” he added.

There definitely was fraud in this election, “vote-buying is electoral fraud, and everybody admits that vote-buying was very rampant in this election,” Colmenares also said.

He said it would be better if a Filipino firm handles the PCOS machines.

Colmenares said he was in Negros Occidental to thank Negrenses for their support for Bayan Muna and their senatorial candidate Teddy Casiño, although he did not make it, in the May 13 polls.

On the outcome of the gubernatorial race in Negros Occidental where Gov. Alfredo Marañon Jr. of the United Negros Alliance defeated Genaro Alvarez of the Nationalist People’s Coalition, Colmenares said he was shocked because he expected that the tycoons would deliver.

“It will definitely affect the status of Eduardo Cojuangco as a source of power in Negros, and I’m sure there are many challengers to that position from among the members of Congress in the province,” he said.*CPG

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