Quote for the Week..

"Why are the country’s political leaders quick to act on amending the Constitution to change nationalistic provisions for the benefit of foreigners or to extend their terms of office but are allergic to amending the Constitution to address the people’s aspirations for self-determination?" - Marvic Leonen,Dean of the UP College of Law, in a keynote address delivered at the 1st International Solidarity Conference on Mindanao; March 16-18, 2009 in Davao City, Philippines.


Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Election officer Bedol, in hiding, contacts ex-boss

COTABATO CITY, Philippines -- Missing Maguindanao election supervisor Lintang Bedol has sent text messages to his superior, just to keep in touch and ask how things are with his former boss.

Rey Sumalipao, election director for the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), said on Wednesday the text message exchange between him and Bedol took place "some weeks" ago.
Bedol has been in hiding since the Commission on Elections (Comelec) issued a warrant for his arrest after he repeatedly failed to show up during an investigation into the controversial 2007 election results in Maguindanao.

The controversy worsened after Senator Aquilino Pimentel III questioned the proclamation of Juan Miguel Zubiri as senator after the votes in Maguindanao were tallied.

Asked what they discussed during the exchanges of text messages, which came as the six-province ARMM region was preparing for the August local polls, Sumalipao said they basically exchanged pleasantries.

"He texted to say hello, and of course, we answered," he said.

Sumalipao said later that he told Bedol to come out so that the election controversy fueled by his disappearance could be resolved.

"I told him that he should let justice take its course so that we will know the truth," Sumalipao added.

Sumalipao said Bedol’s reply was: "I will do that in due time."

He said Bedol also repeated his claim that his life was in danger but did not specify where the threat was from.

The ARMM election chief maintained that even as they exchanged text messages, he did not know where Bedol was.

"I don't really know if the former Maguindanao election supervisor is in the country or outside the country," Sumalipao said.

But he indicated he continued to have access to the elusive poll officer, at least via text messaging.

But even if Bedol eventually surrendered, Sumalipao said, it was unlikely he could resume his duties as Maguindanao election supervisor.

Sumalipao said under civil service rules, a government employee or official who fails to report for 30 consecutive days without justifiable reason is considered dismissed from the service.

Meanwhile, Sumalipao said the election body has started training applicants on the use of poll automation equipment for the upcoming regional polls. (Charlie SeƱase, INQ.net)

No comments: