Makati City Mayor-elect Abigail Binay has asked the Commission on Elections to dismiss the election protest of losing candidate and incumbent Mayor Romulo Peña Jr.
In her counter-protest she filed on May 30, the mayor-elect noted that Peña gave two different versions of his complaint, violating a Comelec Resolution which requires that two copies of the same version of the protest should be filed with Comelec and given to the protestee.
“The copy of the petition given to Binay is different from the petition submitted to the Comelec. This is a clear attempt to confuse the camp of the mayor-elect so that she could not answer the allegations,” said her legal counsel Claro Certeza.
Binay also asked the Comelec to dismiss Peña’s protest, saying it failed to provide detailed information on the alleged electoral fraud in the protested precincts.
“A cursory examination of the protest will reveal that its allegations are nothing but sweeping generalizations, legal conclusions, speculation, and conjecture,” Binay said.
Binay said that Peña “miserably failed” to disprove the legal presumption of regularity in the conduct of the elections. She added the election in Makati “was conducted in accordance with law and under the careful and vigilant scrutiny of the general public.”
She also alleged that Peña just wanted to “contravene the choice of the electorate, sow disunity among the constituents of the rightfully elected mayor-elect, and taint the legitimacy and regularity of the election process.”
Binay’s camp said it was actually Peña who cheated in the elections.
She questioned Peña’s belated protest, noting that his election watchers and lawyers stationed at every clustered precinct and canvassing center could have raised an alarm about any anomalies.
Peña lost to Binay by 17,805 votes and filed an election protest on May 20, claiming that her camp committed fraud and engaged in vote buying.
“The ten-(10) day period for the filing of an election protest lapsed on 20 May 2016 without protestant successfully lodging an election protest before the Honorable Commission. He is therefore forever barred from questioning the proclamation of Protestee and assailing the validity of her mandate to serve as Mayor of Makati City,” Binay said.
Binay called Peña’s protest a “desperate bid to usurp the Office of the Mayor of Makati City from the rightful choice of the Makati City electorate.”
A Comelec random manual audit of four clustered precincts in Makati Clusters 62 (Brgy. Valenzuela), 272 (Brgy. Bel Air), 443 (Brgy. Pitogo) and 553 (Brgy. Rizal), earlier confirmed there were no discrepancies in the results of election, Binay said.
“I have talked with the Comelec verifiers and they confirmed there were no discrepancies in the Makati election results. All precincts were declared to have no inconsistencies,” said lawyer Maribert Pagente, lead counsel of the United Nationalist Alliance and Team Binay.
Pagente said the audit results will be transmitted to the Philippine Statistics Authority, which will prepare a report for the Comelec en banc.
Supporters of Pena recently staged a rally in front of City Hall, accusing the camp of Binay electoral fraud and massive vote buying in the city last May 9 polls.
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