Poll Violence Continues Two Weeks After National Elections
MANILA, Philippines (AP) _ Ferdinand ``Bongbong″ Marcos Jr., appealed to the election commission today to investigate alleged vote fraud as his supporters threatened officials they said deprived the late president’s son of a Senate seat.
Meanwhile, violence surrounding the May 8 national elections continued as an election official and his son were killed Sunday night.
Conrado Concepcion, a municipal registrar, and his 24-year-old son, Mark Joseph, were gunned down in front of their house in Mojon, about 20 miles north of Manila.
About 50 people were reported slain in election-related violence between May 7 and 9.
Two weeks after the balloting, the slow, cumbersome official count remained incomplete in the race for 12 Senate seats. Candidates both with and opposed to President Fidel Ramos have claimed the vote count was rigged, although Ramos termed the balloting ``clean and orderly.″
Candidates endorsed by Ramos were leading for nine seats.
Marcos Jr., son and namesake of the late Ferdinand Marcos, was in 16th place. He appeared unexpectedly today before the electoral commission and asked for an investigation.
``It’s disturbing to note that many of the safeguards put up by the COMELEC (electoral commission) have not been observed,″ he said. ``I appeal to your sense of fairness and quest for truth to determine why these safeguards have not been observed...so that the will of the people will be heard.″
Marcos said his staff would submit evidence to the commission to substantiate his claims.
About 1,000 of Marcos Jr.’s supporters turned out today for a vigil they said would continue until the electoral commission confirmed his win.
Oliver Lozano, a longtime Marcos family lawyer, accused the Ramos administration and House Speaker Jose de Venecia of cheating Marcos out of his rightful place in the Senate.
``Bring de Venecia here and we’ll butcher him,″ several women shouted at reporters.
Only three non-governing party Senate candidates remain in the top 12 with about 80 percent of the votes counted. They include Miriam Santiago, who nearly beat Ramos in the 1992 elections; former army Lt. Col. Gregorio Honasan, who led several failed coup attempts against former President Corazon Aquino; and Sen. Nikki Coseteng.
Marcos’ mother, Imelda, won by a landslide in her race for the House of Representatives from Leyte Island but she faces disqualification on a technicality.
The election commission has confirmed several instances of apparent cheating and has revised vote totals accordingly.