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Comelec insists to proceed with Young’s poll protest

(The Freeman) - January 20, 2016 - 9:00am

CEBU, Philippines - The Commission on Elections has stood by its decision to continue the election protest filed by former Cebu City vice mayor Joy Augustus Young against Vice Mayor Edgardo Labella.

The Comelec first division denied the motion for reconsideration of Labella on the November 25, 2015 decision of the poll body that allows the continuation of the election protest.

Labella assailed the order saying it was “contrary to law and the rules” and that “the evidence relied upon is insufficient to justify” it.

“After careful perusal of the records of this case, the Commission finds no cogent reason to depart from or reconsider its Assailed Order. Further, the Commission finds no reason to refer this matter to the Commission en Banc,” read the Order dated January 18, 2016.

 The Comelec First Division earlier ordered to continue the proceedings after it found “substantial recovery that would lead to the conclusion that there is merit or legitimacy in the election protest.”

 Young reportedly garnered 238 votes against Labella who got 59 votes in the first 116 precincts, whose results in the May 2013 elections were recounted by the Comelec.

 In his motion for reconsideration, Labella stated that the Comelec erred in averring that there is “net effect change in results of the votes amounting to an additional  +238 votes in favor of the protestant had given premium to a wrong-doing, with all due respect, since tampered results were incorporated in the election results.”   

The Comelec said it appears that Labella is attempting to ascribe to the commission a conclusion that it did not make. It said that the commission did not make a finding that there is a “net effect change in the results of the votes amounting to an additional +238 votes in favor of the protestant.”

 “This possible net effect change in the results of the votes amounting to an additional two hundred thirty-eight (+238) votes in favor of the Protestant goes beyond the thirty-seven (37) vote requirement for substantial recovery, and is even higher than the total one hundred eighty-four (1840 total vote lead of the Protestee over the Protestant,” the Comelec quoted its November 25, 2015 Order.

 It added that the large discrepancy which can possibly result in a net effect change in the results in favor of Young is what convinced the Commission to continue with the proceedings.

 The order was signed by Presiding Commissioner Christian Robert Lim, and Commissioners Luie Tito Guia and Ma. Rowena Amelia Guanzon.

 On May 17, 2013, Labella was proclaimed by the City Board of Canvassers as the winning candidate and the duly elected Vice Mayor of Cebu City garnering a total of 203,267 votes as against Young’s 203,083 votes or a lead margin of 184 votes.

 For the Comelec to find substantial recovery in the election protest, Young should recover at least 20 percent or 37 votes out of the overall vote lead of Labella which is 184. — (FREEMAN)

ACIRC ASSAILED ORDER CEBU CITY CITY BOARD OF CANVASSERS COMELEC COMELEC FIRST DIVISION COMMISSION COMMISSIONERS LUIE TITO GUIA AND MA LABELLA NBSP VOTES
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