Pangasinan voters seek manual recount

Eva Visperas - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — A letter seeking a manual recount of votes in Pangasinan signed by more than 21,000 voters was submitted to the Commission on Elections (Comelec) provincial office on Monday.

Lawyer Laudemer Fabia, who turned over the documents, said the signatories are voters from Lingayen, Bayambang, San Fabian, Binalonan, Rosales, Villasis, Umingan and Bugallon as well as the cities of Urdaneta and Alaminos.

He claimed their group is not connected with any candidate, adding that more voters are expected to join the petition in the coming days.

Provincial election supervisor Ericson Oganiza said he would forward the documents to the main office of the Comelec since the provincial office has no jurisdiction over the petition.

On Monday night, supporters of defeated Gov. Amado Espino III, who are also asking for a manual recount, held a vigil in front of the provincial capitol.

Espino’s camp claimed massive cheating in the May 9 polls.

Fifth district Rep. Ramon Guico III was proclaimed governor on Wednesday last week.

Guico won by a margin of 187,807 votes, ending the 15-year rule of the Espinos in Pangasinan.

Espinas of Biliran

Meanwhile, in Biliran, more members of the Espina clan dominated the elections.

Gerard Espina, mayor of Naval town and son of Gov. Rogelio Espina, garnered more than 60,000 votes against his opponent Edgardo Ambe.

Gerard’s sister Gretchen was unopposed in her bid as mayor of Naval.

Their younger brother, Gerardo, was reelected congressman of the province’s lone district.

Their other sister, Roselyn Paras, topped the race for provincial board member.

Rogelio’s twin brother, outgoing Kawayan Mayor Rudy Espina, won as councilor. Rudy’s son Jake was unopposed in his vice mayoral run.

Many of those who were elected mayors, councilors and board members in the province are also allies of the Espinas. – Miriam Desacada

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