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Benhur wants 4th District put under Comelec control

- Fred Languido () - January 14, 2010 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines - Anticipating the tension in the May 10 elections in Bogo City and the entire 4th District, Congressman Benhur Salimbangon, who recently lost in an election protest at the Supreme Court to political rival Celestino “Tining” Martinez III, wants the entire district under the control of the Commission on Elections (Comelec).

Salimbangon alleged that the camp of Martinez has employed goons and he believes they would be used in the May polls.

In a radio interview over station dyLA, Salimbangon, however, expressed confidence that he will win this May because he has done so much for the people of the district.

He alleged that the traffic law enforcers now being deployed around Bogo are the actually goons of the Martinez family.

Salimbangon said that some members of the City of Bogo Anti-Crime Task Force are reportedly “ex-convicts” and he thinks they would be used to harass his supporters.

When the Police Regional Office (PRO)-7 under Chief Supt. Lani-O Nerez conducted an inspection, there was however no firearm found.

Lawyer Inosencio dela Cerna, Martinez’s counsel, denied the allegations saying they will answer them only in the proper forum.

Dela Cerna said that their priority right now is to make the necessary arrangement for Martinez to be able to take his oath as the real congressman of the district as soon as possible following the Supreme Court decision.

The high tribunal declared Tining to have won in the May 2007 elections with 72,056 votes against Salimbangon’s 67,108 votes.

Dela Cerna said Tining planned to take his oath before Speaker Prospero Nograles and Liberal Party standard bearer Senator Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III. Tining is running under the banner of LP.

Salimbangon however said they will file a motion for reconsideration and will ask for another counting using the copies of the election returns of Cebu-Citizens’ Involvement and Maturation in People’s Empowerment and Liberation.

Salimbangon said the C-CIMPEL copy is more credible because it has not been tampered unlike the Comelec copy.

Salimbangon said that if the C-CIMPEL copy will be used as basis in the recount he is confident that he will win because based on their counting there were only 300 stray ballots. The Comelec copy, which was used as basis by the Supreme Court, contained more than 300 stray ballots which were counted in favor of Martinez.— THE FREEMAN

BOGO CITY CHIEF SUPT CITY OF BOGO ANTI-CRIME TASK FORCE COMELEC CONGRESSMAN BENHUR SALIMBANGON DELA CERNA EMPOWERMENT AND LIBERATION INVOLVEMENT AND MATURATION LANI-O NEREZ SALIMBANGON SUPREME COURT
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