The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has dismissed for lack of merit a protest against Manila Mayor Maria Honey Pangan filed by losing candidate Alexander Lopez.
In a nine-page decision signed by Comelec Second Division Commissioners Marlon Casquejo and Rey Bulay and released Saturday, the poll body said Lopez failed to show valid proof of alleged massive electoral frauds, anomalies, misreading of ballots, and miscounting of votes, among other allegations.
Lacuna won with 538,595 votes, while Lopez was a far second with 166,908.
The Comelec said even if Lopez will be credited with the 31,608 votes he questioned, Lacuna would still emerge the winner.
Lopez filed the petition on May 23.
The Comelec noted that it was undeniably that Lopez employed “general and unsubstantiated averments without particularly specifying the circumstances relating to the alleged electoral frauds, anomalies or irregularities.”
The Comelec said nowhere in Lopez’s election protest or in his voluminous annexes an attachment of alleged joint affidavits of voters who supposedly claimed vaguely that they voted for him during the May 9 polls and that their votes were not reflected in the results.
“The alleged documented massive acts of vote buying perpetrated directly and indirectly by the Protestee (Lacuna) to induce the votes in the City of Manila to vote for or against the Protestant (Lopez) thru the commission of vote buying are also bare assertions, uncorroborated by any other proof, whether testimonial or documentary,” the poll body added.
As for the allegations of illegal use of public facilities, equipment, funds, and other resources in Lacuna’s candidacy, the Comelec advised Lopez to file an appropriate complaint before the Law Department “so that the same may be properly investigated.”
The 57-year-old Lacuna was Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domago’s vice mayor prior to the elections and became the first female mayor of Manila.
A medical doctor and former councilor, she is the daughter of former Manila vice mayor Danny Lacuna.