By Johann Margarette R. Macob
ALAMINOS CITY, Feb. 24 (PNA)–Nakakalungkot (It's saddening).
This was how Pangasinan 5th district board member Clemente Arboleda Jr. described the recent election of the National Movement of Young Legislators (NMYL) National Executive Council held at the Waterfront Hotel in Quipandan, Cebu City on February 21.
Arboleda said there were a number of discrepancies during the election which coincided with NMYL's 20th National Congress on Feb. 20-22.
Speaking after the out-of-town session of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan (SP) in Alaminos City on Feb. 24, the board member said the first discrepancy was on the number of votes cast against the number of registered voters.
He questioned why there were 1,260 voters who cast their votes, yet registered voters were only around 800.
This means, Arboleda said, that there were "ghost voters" as evidenced by several names listed as voters who were either absent or were not allowed to vote as they were already over 40 years old.
The age limit for an NMYL member is 40.
He cited at least four board members from Batangas as among those purportedly listed as voters, yet the four were reportedly in Guam during the election.
There were also at least four listed "ghost voters" from Lingayen, Pangasinan and six from San Fabian, Pangasinan.
"Even the Vice Mayor of San Fabian was supposedly listed as voter but who is not an NMYL member as he is already over-aged.
Arboleda claimed he and his two other partymates Bataan Board Member Aristotle Gaza, a losing candidate for president, should should have won if not for the "ghost voters."
Gaza was defeated by Councilor Kirk Asis of the town of Abugan, Agusan del Sur.
"I got 600 votes," said Arboleda who run for treasurer under Gaza.
Arboleda added that he will talk to other legislators in the province to ask them to also issue their respective statements that they were not present during the election yet they were made to appear as if they attended the election and cast their votes.
This will support the petition of Gaza's group to the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) seeking nullification of the result of the election.
At least 51 of the 80 provinces have thrown their support to the petition, Arboleda said.
Furthermore, he contended that all people who were in charge of the registration and election were from the "rival group" opposed to the team of Gaza. (PNA)