“Dili lang sa ko mosulti na sure na gyud siya ugma (May 9) kay ato pa man pod sila paminawon... Depende sa masabotan namo sa parties karon ig human sa (inventory) kay maghimo pa man gud og minutes ang treasurer. Dili unya mahuman og himo og minutes,” Cebu City North District Elections Officer Marchel Sarno explained.
Boy Santos/File
Comelec ready to ship Rama’s contested ballots for recounting
(The Freeman) - May 9, 2017 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines - Commission on Elections has completed the inventory and sealing of ballot boxes from 168 clustered precincts being protested by former Cebu City mayor Michael Rama yesterday, ready to ship them back to Manila for recounting.

Cebu City North District Elections Officer Marchel Sarno said that there is still no guarantee that the boxes will be shipped today as they would still have to meet with both parties regarding the transport.

“Dili lang sa ko mosulti na sure na gyud siya ugma (May 9) kay ato pa man pod sila paminawon... Depende sa masabotan namo sa parties karon ig human sa (inventory) kay maghimo pa man gud og minutes ang treasurer. Dili unya mahuman og himo og minutes,” Sarno explained.

As agreed by Team Bando Osmeña Pundok Kauswagan (BOPK) and Team Rama, 2Go Shipping will transport the container van, loaded with the ballot boxes from 168 clustered precincts and election decertified protest list, to Comelec Philpost warehouse in Manila for the recounting.

The cargo will be escorted by two representatives from the two parties, Comelec personnel and police.

Sarno assured that the transport will take place as soon as everything is set.

The inventory and sealing of ballots boxes were completed in four working days, beginning last Wednesday, May 3 and ended yesterday at Senior Citizens Park across Cebu City Hall.

The protested ballot boxes were supposed to be inventoried and sealed on April 26, but was moved to May 2 because the legal counsel of Mayor Tomas Osmeña failed to show up.

The May 2 scheduled inventory was also postponed due to the ongoing negotiation with the shipping company that would ferry the ballots to Manila.

Sarno said no problems were encountered during the inventory and sealing.

“Wala man tay (problema). Ang mga ballot boxes intact, naa man sa usa ka container, so wala ra ga problema,” he said

When asked why it took four days, Sarno said: “Daghan man nga mga ballot boxes, katorse (14)  gud na ka container unya pangitaon nimo (ang ballots). Maayo'g nagtapok na tanan sa usa ra ka container… lain-lain man gud na nga barangay nga nasagol-sagol, gi usa-usa gyud nato na… Maayo'g gitapok tanan sa usa ka container kay dali ra kayo.”

During the inventory, the Comelec officials checked the “physical condition” of each ballot box after they segregated the contested ballot boxes.

Included among the 168 clustered precincts protested by Rama are ballot results from Barangays Ermita, Camputhaw, Mabolo, Sambag I, T. Padilla, Basak Pardo, Basak San Nicolas, Bulacao, Guadalupe, Inayawan, Calamba, Poblacion Pardo, and Punta Princesa. — Hannah T. Tesorio (FREEMAN)

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