After Consulting Supporters BOPK to file poll protest
Jessa Agua (The Freeman) - May 20, 2013 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines - After consulting with lawyers and thousands of supporters, Bando Osmeña Pundok Kauswagan (BOPK) chairman and outgoing south district Rep. Tomas Osmeña yesterday said they will file an election protest questioning the proclamation of the reelected mayor and vice mayor-elect.

At the BOPK thanksgiving party in Mambaling, Osmeña asked thousands of his supporters present if they should protest the results of the recently-concluded elections, to which the crowd affirmed.

“Our lawyers advised that we file a protest. I want to consult you. Do you want me to file a protest?,” he asked the crowd which replied with a resounding “yes”.

Heeding the people’s sentiments, he then announced that their party will be filing an election protest before the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) but did not say when.

Osmeña and running mate outgoing Vice Mayor Joy Young lost to Mayor Michael Rama and outgoing Councilor Edgardo Labella, respectively.

Young earlier said that they are gathering information and their lawyers are getting affidavits from supposed witnesses on alleged manipulation involving Team Rama that led to the proclamation of Rama and Labella.

“We have finished gathering data. The next step is to file a protest. Joy Young is a sure winner if we count all the rejected ballots,” Osmena told reporters.

Despite not getting the top two posts in the city, BOPK secured 15 council seats for both north and south districts.

Emotional BOPK candidates and supporters flocked the party’s thanksgiving program carrying the theme “Sa Kanunay Kaninyo Tommy Osmena, Magpabilin Kaninyo.”

It celebrated the victory of most of the council bets and claiming that Osmeña and Young won as opposed to earlier proclamation by the Comelec.

Reelected Councilors Nida Cabrera and Lea Japson were not able to contain their emotions and went into tears while on stage facing thousands of supporters.

“Nanghilak man gud ning taga Binaliw kay di mahitabo nga mapilde si Tommy Osmeña. Long long ago ako pang amahan wa nahitabo nga napilde. Karon palang mag start nata kun unsa’y para ato,para ato,” Japson said.

BOPK members believe that their mayoral and vice mayoral bets were cheated causing their “shocking” loss.

“Ang inyong pag-ari dire karun tima-an nga si Congressman Tomas Osmeña ang midaog sa miaging pinili-ay ug mo protesta kita,magpabilin kita sa plano sa BOPK,” Councilor Alvin Dizon said.

Young, along with the rest of the BOPK candidates remained defiant on the Rama-Labella proclamation.

“Pasalamat ko sa akong pamilya, ako ug kamong tanan nga BOPK salamat gyud kaayo, ayaw mo ug kaguol kay kini atong mga konsehal naa rani sila ayaw mo ug tuo anang estorya nga mobiya sila kanato kay kamo, parehas rami ninyo, we are not for sale,” Young said accusing Team Rama of massive vote buying.

The BOPK chairman, however, noted that this unfortunate experience provides a lesson for hard workers.

“Most would see the glass as half empty, but I see it as half full. Kahibaw ko limpyo ang inyong konsensiya. I am not very religious, but ang akong favorite commandment is honor the Sabbath. Naa ko laing mensahe gikan sa Ginoo, once in a while, bisan busy ka, hunong na,” Osmena told his emotional supporters hinting he also needs to take a rest and come back refreshed.

Osmena also said he will be very busy as he was authorized to manage the estate of his mother in Negros.—with Marrielle Shyne L. Palaubsanon/FPL

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