Villafuerte to Robredo: It’s fabrication
NAGA CITY, Philippines - Rep Luis Villafuerte dismissed as fabrication the accusations contained in the disqualification complaint filed by congressional candidate Maria Leonor "Leni" Robredo on Friday, May 10.
“It is a fabricated case of an opposition candidate who knows she is at the losing end,” Villafuerte told Rappler.
Villafuerte is running for governor this coming elections, and is fielding his wife Nelly for the congressional seat.
On Thursday, a vote-buying complaint was filed by 3 witnesses against Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC) candidates.
Witness Virginia Borromeo-Balsa claimed she attended a meeting where they were given money at the residence of a board member candidate Nelson Julia at Bell, Casuray, Magarao, Camarines Sur.
In the affidavit, Balsa said Villafuerte and his wife were present during the event.
Robredo’s complaint submitted on Friday, May 10, provided details about the vote-buying incidents that took place on May 7 and 8 in the house of Villafuerte.
According to the affidavit, voters who were recruited from baranggays were advised to proceed to the Villafuerte residence at Basilica Road, Balatas, Naga City on the two dates.
There, the registered voters were instructed to vote for NPC candidates, Nelly Villafuerte included. They were sent home with brown envelopes containing P300.
In a phone interview, Villafuerte asserted the accounts of witnesses and photos capturing alleged vote buying are all fabricated.
“How can they charge us if all they have are photos of people coming in and out of the house?” Villafuerte asked.
According to him, with elections approaching, they have been conducting training sessions for trainers who will be deployed to baranggays to conduct voters' education seminars on the automated election system.
Referring to the crowd gathered outside his house, Villafuerte said: “Alam mo kasi, sa eleksyon, madami kaming taong dine-deploy for every precincts. May mga poll watchers, mga watchers sa labas, at yung mga magbibigay ng sample ballots. So madami talagang tao. Kasama pa diyan yung mga trainers nga.”
(During elections, we have people deployed at every precinct. There are poll watchers, watchers outside of the precincts, and those distributing sample ballots. So there really are many people, including the trainers.)
Villafuerte is now complaining that there are people climbing his walls to take photos of what is happening inside his house. “Isn’t that invasion of privacy?” he complained.
Villafuerte said that his camp plans to file a counter-charge after elections, accusing Leni Robredo of vote buying as well.
“It is a pre-emptive action knowing that we have solid proof of their vote buying,” Villafuerte explained.
He said it is Robredo who is using government funds to distribute rice and agricultural merchandise, such as fertilizers, seeds, and farm implements. He said they have documents to back up their claims.
He also said it is unthinkable for them to conduct vote-buying activities right inside their home as alleged by Robredo.
Villafuerte said the case filed against him is part of a propaganda campaign of a candidate who, according to him, is falling way behind in the election survey results.
“Nothing will happen because elections is only two days away. 95% of the people will not pay attention anymore to that issue, maybe even 98%,” Villafuerte declared.
The Villafuertes have ruled in Camarines Sur for close to 3 decades. - Rappler.com
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