Peña files poll protest vs Binay

Ching M. Alano (The Philippine Star) - May 21, 2016 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Outgoing Makati Mayor Romulo Peña Jr. yesterday filed an election protest against incoming Mayor Marlen Abigail Binay with the Commission on Elections (Comelec) for alleged massive cheating and vote-buying.

Peña asked the Comelec to conduct a manual recount of the votes for the mayoral race.

Peña claimed that he was robbed of 17,805 votes in the city’s second district, which is his bailiwick.

He said the testimonies of witnesses would prove alleged vote-buying by Binay’s camp in the last elections.

Peña questioned the results of the canvassing of votes from 287 polling precincts.

Binay received 160,120 votes against Peña’s 142,315 votes.

“The election results did not reflect the actual number of votes cast,” Peña said.

He also questioned alleged irregularities in the canvassing of votes, malfunctioning vote counting machines and disenfranchisement of voters in the city.

Peña claimed that the city Board of Election Inspectors manipulated the results of the polls.

“There were instances of vote-shaving, which deprived the Makati residents of their right to elect who they want to serve them,” he added.

Peña asked the Comelec to issue a “precautionary protection order” to safeguard the integrity of the ballot boxes, list of voters and other election documents.

Binay denies cheating

Binay refuted Peña’s allegations of poll fraud and vote-buying in the last elections.

“His accusations are baseless. We won the elections fair and square. As the sitting mayor, he has all the resources of the city government to manipulate the results of the elections and not our camp,” Binay said.

She called on Peña and his supporters to respect the outcome of the elections.

 “The people of Makati have spoken and elected me as new mayor. He should accept his defeat,” Binay said.

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