Comelec junks poll protest vs Abby Binay
(The Philippine Star) - September 24, 2016 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has dismissed the poll protest filed against Makati City Mayor Abigail Binay by losing mayoralty candidate Romulo Peña Jr.

The poll body junked the electoral complaint for “insufficiency in form.” 

In an 11-page decision released yesterday, the Comelec First Division said Peña failed to prove that election fraud affected the results of the Makati mayoral race last May.

“The complainant did not indicate the precincts where supposed errors in the scanning of the ballots by the vote counting machines (VCMs) took place,” the Comelec resolution read.

“Peña failed to prove allegations that the ballots were prepared and fed into the VCMs by people other than the voters. The poll body cannot guess where in the 287 clustered precincts being protested these anomalies happened,” it added.

The Comelec said the discrepancies in the statement of votes and certificates of canvass claimed by Peña were mere speculations.

According to the poll body, detailed specification of electoral fraud is required under the law.

“The acts detailing electoral fraud should be indicated in the petition to prevent delaying the election protest and cast doubt to the validity of the proclamation of the elected officials,” the Comelec explained.

Binay’s lawyer Daniel Sabido said the mayor was happy with the Comelec’s decision.

“Mayor Binay is thankful to the Comelec for seeing the poll protest for what it is - a sham pleading filed by a losing candidate who could not accept the reality of being rejected by the people of Makati,” Sabido said.

Fight not over – Peña

Peña said he would file an appeal before the Comelec en banc to reconsider its decision dismissing his poll protest against Binay.

“Hindi pa tapos ang laban. (The fight is not over. We will file an appeal and exhaust all legal remedies available,” Peña said.

He said he respects the Comelec ruling. – With Robertzon Ramirez



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