News In Brief

Philippine panel opens hearings on vote fraud

The Election Commission opened hearings Monday on candidates' allegations of widespread fraud in parliamentary elections. A week after the balloting the vote count was incomplete, but President Ferdinand E. Marcos's regime kept its comfortable lead over opponents. So far poll officials have proclaimed 72 Marcos candidates and 50 oppositionists as winners, according to the latest commission tally.

Four Cabinet ministers have resigned as a result of the elections, including Agriculture Minister Arturo Tanco and Justice Minister Ricardo Puno, who were defeated; Natural Resources Minister Teodoro Pena, who was trailing in the vote count; and Solicitor General Estelito Mendoza, who was not a candidate but who stepped down after opposition victories in Pampanga Province, where he is governor.

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