Cabato cries cheating did him in PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 17 May 2013 14:14

Vows to bring case to Comelec

Dismayed on the decision of the City Board of Canvasser (CBOC) when it proceeded to proclaim the No. 7 and No. 8 in the council slate in the first district last Wednesday evening despite the three uncanvassed CF cards, Councilor Jaime Cabato vowed to bring the case to the Comelec central office to give justice to the voters who want to see him serve for the third time in the city council.

On the third day of canvassing, three CF cards (one each from Barangay Cabatangan, Talisayan and Canelar) could hardly be transmitted. A request for replacement has not been acted yet by the Comelec central office.

The canvassing of votes was made on Monday and Tuesday (May 14) but it was stopped in the evening when CBOC could not transmit the results  contained in the remaining three  CF cards due to damages discovered by PCOS technical support team.

On that very hour, the council candidates — from No. 1 to 5 — were proclaimed.

Josephine Pareja ranks No. 6 with 47,798 votes, reelectionisr Myra Paz Abubakar is in No. 7 with 46,691 votes and another reelectionist Councilor Rudy Bayot in No. 8 with 45,691 votes. Councilor Cabato is behind Bayot with a difference of only 127 votes (45, 564).

“I was caught by surprise when I received a call that CBOC is going to proclaim Bayot since the three clustered precincts have not yet been canvassed. I immediately rushed to the Sangguniang Panglungsod but to my surprise, the proclamation was already done,” Cabato said in a live mobile phone interview over RMN.

He said that when his people started to sum up the votes he garnered (setting aside the uncanvassed three CF cards), Bayot was only ahead of him by about 37 votes.

In his explanation, Election Officer Joseph Ian Tria said that CBOC invoked the principle of “statistical improbability” which means, the number of votes in the three clustered precincts if canvassed could not still make a difference in the position of the remaining unproclaimed candidates. Tria issued this statement as a person helping in the canvassing of votes but not in his capacity as member of the CBOC.

The CBOC is composed of three persons representing the Division School Superintendent’s office (Melchor Pedro Natividad), City Prosecutor Ricardo Cabaron and Election Officer Jesus Alvin Lim.

Based on election returns, there are more or less 1,736 votes registered in the three uncanvassed CF cards—568 votes cast in Cabatangan, 556 votes in Canelar and 612 in Talisayan.

“I’m not personally questioning my party mate Rudy Bayot and colleague Myra Abubakar. I’m just wondering why they were so in a hurry in proclaiming the duo despite the slim difference in our number of votes. They could have waited for the requested CF cards to arrive so the 1,700 plus votes could be accounted for. I am willing to accept defeat but not in this manner,” Cabato said with doubts that an unseen hand is again behind this controversy.

“They prefer Bayot to get in because they fear Jimmy Cabato once I am in,” said the veteran politician as he clarified that he would not stop fiscalizing issues and stay critical if interest of the general public is at stake.

Under this circumstance, Cabato’s only remedy is to elevate the case to the Comelec central office but he has to verify first his actual number of votes in the three CF cards before making the next step, an election lawyer suggested.      In a separate press statement, Cabato claimed that “HOCUS-PCOS and vote-buying by swamping barangays with watchers and unutilized  but heftily-paid ‘liners’ are what did me in this most recent elections.”

“For, my friends, I am confident that with my dedication to work, amity and bondage with people in my lengthy service in government, I have earned the people’s respect, trust  and love. That is evident by the way people meet me anywhere in the streets of Zamboanga. Hardly no one who would take a glimpse of my shadow fails to flash a smile and signs of greetings. On my honor, that I profess before God and man,” Cabato said.

He continued: “Everybody knows I was the fiercest-tongue critic of the truly respected and revered Ma’am Caling Lobregat. But my criticisms of her never prompted the Zamboangueñas to vote against me, as I won repeatedly as City Councilor for six (6) terms. How then can anyone claim that when I criticize a particular woman in the language the man on the street will easily comprehend, the Zamboanga womanhood is maligned? Is Mayor-elect Beng, Sta. Isabel making her holier than Ma’am Caling? If the answer is “NO”, that played-up gender sensitivity issue then could never have affected my votes.”

Moreover, Cabato said that to claim that when he criticizes a particular woman in the language the man on the street will easily comprehend, “the Zamboanga womanhood is maligned is what is an insult to the sensitivities of the Zamboangueños whose intelligence I respect.”

“Truth is, that last-minute concocted gender sensitivity issue vomited out by the well-fed fat-bellied anchorman in TV 11 was no more no less than a simple smokescreen —   a mere tool aimed at attempting to condition the minds of voters that I lost the elections as the cheaters would have a ready alibi for my already  planned out defeat through HOCUS-PCOS and vote-buying,” he said. Ergo, HOCUS-PCOS and vote-buying by swamping barangays with watchers and unutilized  but heftily-paid “liners” are what did me in this most recent elections. — Jimmy Villaflores