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Poll watchdog group looks into plot to cheat in May polls – Aquino

MARILAO, Bulacan – Liberal Party standard bearer Sen. Noynoy Aquino said Monday that a group of volunteer lawyers are looking into reports of a plot to cheat in the May polls.

”(Our intelligence reports indicate a) plan to influence the outcome of the elections,” he said, but declined to elaborate pending further verification of such reports.

“Meron kaming hinahandang pruweba…merong mga intensyon basta iwan natin doon muna. Hindi tayo natutulog sa pansitan,” Aquino told reporters.

He also said the LP does not have the funds to manipulate the results of the elections and will rely on volunteers to help protect their votes.

Aquino met over a 100 volunteers, including 18 provincial coordinators, of the newly-organized PiNoy Lawyers group which held its first general assembly in Pasig City last Saturday.

He also said his vote protection efforts include the involvement of former Defense Secretary Avelino “Nonong” Cruz Jr. Cruz was one of the Cabinet members who withdrew support for President Arroyo in the wake of the “Hello Garci” scandal in 2005.

Aquino also expressed concern over reports quoting poll watchdog group Kontra-Daya that at least two million ballots for the Autonomous Region for Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) were printed without security features.

“The security marks have been a constant feature for so many past elections. Kung totoo yan, dapat panagutan ng Comelec, to send a message that they (Comelec will not tolerate such actions,” he said.

Meanwhile, Aquino said that if elected president, he will make public details of the Mayuga report referring to the findings of a panel tasked to look into alleged cheating by the administration in the 2004 elections.

Aquino earlier said there is a need for closure in the “Garci” issue, so authorities will know what to do to prevent poll fraud in the future#