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After only a day of missed SS during the entire election period, we’re back. It was election day yesterday and a reversed filial obligation beckoned. Two children and two grandchildren were running in different positions in Baliwasan.

However, unlike in the campaign sorties which was a virtual walk in the park, victory this time was hard fought during the counting of votes.

Praise the Lord, in the end, all Cabatos emerged victorious.

Then unaware, we were actually battling a higher-up mogul of an outsider, whose camp does not enjoy the political support of the Cabatos in Baliwasan, in only an hour and a half after close of polling places, confident the fight for the barangay and SK posts was over in favor of the four Cabato candidates, SS rushed to the birthday bash of a Mongueh Cabinet mainstay, Tiago “James” Santiago in Tugbungan.

It was only upon return of SS to the polling place, analyzing the day’s turn of events, did we realize our predicament. We were in deep trouble due to highly sophisticated maneuverings that only a trained machinist could ever think of - the Pioquinto camp? - No way. No one in the camp is that erudite.

Here are some of the classy moves. First full hour, when ballot boxes are inspected to check if there are no ready filled up ballots, all Cabato Team watchers were barred inside the voting center for the lame reason that their appointment papers were not contained in a full page-sized paper. But after an hour, with the same document they were let in. But all boxes were already closed, n ot knowing whether they were empty or stuffed.

Second, teacher-servers do not verify validity a voter’s identity. Only names are asked. Presto, ballots are handed over. So a couple of electors went to cast their ballot, only find somebody else has voted under his name.

And when ballots are read, teachers face the watchers with their back on the blackboard behind. Timid watchers can only watch innocently. Elders still had to make the rounds and complaint, with several ballots already read.

Worst was at the crucial canvassing time. Four ballot boxes were missing. City Election Officer Roy Stepen Cañete had to move around and look for the servers. The elections returns were brought back to the canvassing room only by about dawn of 3.30, with seals unpasted.

Gladly, though the read votes tallied with our personal scores. Seemingly there was no padding, but we were made to fear, there may have been some anomalous intent. Perpetration was aborted because of out heavy presence in the company of a team, composed of a lawyer and four paralegals, who stayed until the end of canvassing at about 6 am. Thanks to Atty. Borge Harain and paralegals Pupung Cabato and Garrick, both nephews. Sorry names of the others are not known.

And these maneuvers may have started with the last minute sudden change of some six (6) servers upon easy representation of the opposing camp, and replaced with relatives and close allies of the enemy camp.

But at final count, as the Cabato votes were far bigger than the suspect padded votes, the winners are: Aimie who remains in her position, rising to No.2 slot is Cocoy, returnee SK chair regains post she held from 2013 to 2016, and Japon shot at No. 1.

X x x x X

The Department of Justice (DoJ) has set the preliminary investigation on the complaint filed against the tagged Abnoy of a former Pres.Aquino and two his former Cabinet secretaries on 15th May.

The charge is in connection with the series of deaths and serious illnesses of children inoculated with the controversial anti-dengue Dengvaxia vaccine that triggered parents to file the case with the assistance of the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC.) (By Jimmy Cabato)

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