Coin toss decides Bocaue mayoral contest

Ramon Efren Lazaro - The Philippine Star

BOCAUE, Philippines – It all came down to heads or tails.

When a tie was recorded in the mayoralty race in this Bulacan town, a coin toss decided the winner.

Deogracias Danao, chairman of the municipal board of canvassers of Bocaue, said Jim Valerio and Joni Villanueva both got exactly 16,694 votes in Monday’s polls.

At past 1 p.m., the camps of Villanueva and Valerio agreed to conduct a tie-breaker, but both rejected a drawing of lots and instead opted for a coin toss.

It was agreed that the coin toss would be a best of five, with the first to get three points to be declared winner.

Valerio’s camp picked heads and Villanueva settled for tails.

Villanueva, sister of outgoing Bocaue Mayor JonJon Villanueva and winning senatorial candidate Joel Villanueva, won the coin toss and was declared the new mayor of Bocaue.

Danao had earlier sent notices to Villanueva and Valerio regarding Comelec Resolution No. 10083 pursuant to the May 9, 2016 national and local elections that was promulgated on March 15, 2016.

He cited that general instruction for the Board of Canvassers on the consolidation/canvass and transmission of votes under Section 11, letter D-II “states the board shall, after recording on its minutes the fact of having candidates receiving the same number of voters for the position, immediately notify the candidates to appear before the board for drawing of lots to break the tie.”

The drawing of lots should be the scheme to be conducted to break the tie within one hour after issuance of notice by the board to the candidate concerned, Danao said.

The lawyers of Valerio and Villanueva tried to question the procedures being implemented to break the tie and by noon yesterday the supporters of the two camps converged at the municipal hall and started heckling each other.

The immediate intercession of the Bocaue police prevented the supporters of both camps from fighting.

Villanueva’s camp occupied the municipal building while Valerio’s supporters stayed outside.

Before the coin toss started Villanueva arrived at the Comelec office in Bocaue while Valerio was represented by his counsel.

Danao made the first toss of the coin but it was declared a draw after the coin landed on an electric cable in the office.

The next three tosses came out tails, in favor of Villanueva.

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