Osmeña bares rival’s alleged plan to cheat
(The Freeman) - May 5, 2016 - 10:00am

CEBU, Philippines - Cebu City mayoralty candidate Tomas Osmeña has revealed an alleged plan by the Team Rama to cheat in the elections to ensure Mayor Michael Rama's reelection on Monday.     

Osmeña made the revelation after a woman, who claimed to be a watcher for Team Rama, reported to him the alleged plan.

The woman, whom he refused to identify, allegedly went to his house the other day and disclosed the plan.

 "I listened to her.  Ang problema the watchers and the teachers naa daw connivance. Ang watcher mo-identify kinsay Rama and Osmeña while galinya palang ang voters," he said.

Osmeña said the woman claimed all Team Rama watchers were trained to do something that will invalidate the ballots of those identified as Bando Osmeña Pundok Kauswagan supporters.

 "Kon mosulti ka nga Osmeña ka, something will happen to your ballots kay the watchers of Team Rama will connive with the teachers kuno," he said.

Part of the alleged plan to cheat was for Team Rama to deploy several watchers to "intimidate" the watchers of the rival camp.

 "We have to have our watchers to watch carefully," Osmeña said.  According to him, all BOPK watchers were already warned about the alleged plan to cheat.

 Rama denied Osmeña's claim, saying he does not need to cheat as he is winning the elections.

"Never. That is probably, they (BOPK) are the one teaching their own people. Why? Because kahibaw naman nga seventy five (75) nagud ang upland, seventy (70) lowland. Eleven-Zero (11-0) nagud," Rama said.

Rama said BOPK will be doing something to "pre-condition" the mind of the voters.

"The one who will be cheating is not us and if they will cheat, they will tell, nibawos ra 'mi," the mayor added. He said he was never born a "cheater."

"You know me, I've never been born a cheater. I do not want to talk about my opponent because if you want to cite, how can you be a decent person when you run and then you have two vice president?" he said.

"We will win not of the misfortune of our opponent. We will win because we have built our group and we worked so hard. And we are not going to be winners because we oppressed, destroy, our opponent," Rama added.

Rama said he wants the whole slate of Team Rama to have a "meaningful victory."

Lawyer Michael Angelo Sarno, Cebu City South District election officer, said a poll watcher could be ejected from the polling precinct if he or she is found violating the rules and regulations.

Sarno said the Board of Election Inspectors can order the police to escort the watcher outside the precinct.

"Ang term nga pagpanikas kay general kaayo, pero wala mi kahibalo unsaon pagpanikas. Pero if naa man gali mapugos gyud mi nga pagawason sila sa mga BEI, manawag ta'g police, peace officer," Sarno said.

Sarno said the Commission on Elections, as much as possible, will not allow voters to bring water inside the precinct during voting.

He said anybody caught intentionally pouring water to the ballot will be charged with an election offense. Sarno said it is stated in the general instructions that the duty of watchers is to deliver appointments and observe the BEI chairman upon entering the polling place and if there is a problem the watcher may protest.

He said watchers should not take photograph of ballots in possession of the voters and should not come near the voters, teachers, and BEI except there is a protest.

Lawyer Edwin Cadungog, north district election officer, said there will be only one watcher per group at a time.

"Sa balaod ana controlon na siya sa BEI, ang gidaghanon sa watcher. Kinahanglan tagaan ug preference ang majority political party. Kanang LP under sa iyang umbrella ang  BOPK ang minority political party kay UNA unya under sa iyang umbrella ang Team Rama ug mao nay tagaan ug tagsaan ug preference ang uban nga individual candidates kung daghan kaayo hatagan na sila ug tagsa unya magbanos na sila kung kanus-a," he explained. — /FPL (FREEMAN)

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