MetrobriefsPhilippine Daily Inquirer
Comelec junks poll protest
Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim won his seat fair and square, according to his chief of staff, Ricardo de Guzman, who said Thursday that the Commission on Elections (Comelec) had dismissed the poll protest filed by former Mayor Lito Atienza for lack of merit. He added that the decision was issued by Comelec on September 13 following a partial recount of the votes cast for the mayoral seat in the May 2010 elections. On May 15, the results of the manual recount showed Lim garnering 64,989 votes and Atienza, 20,130. Based on Comelec procedures, the recount covered only 20 percent of the 1,411 polling precincts in the city which were selected by Atienza. After the initial recount showed Lim leading, Atienza asked the Comelec to include in the recount the rest of the precincts.
The Comelec’s First Division, however, noted: “All told, we find that protestant [Atienza] has failed to establish the merit or legitimacy of his election protest from his pinpointed pilot clustered precincts. We find no more need to proceed with the recount of the rest of his protested clustered precincts.” It added, “The above calculations show that even if all of the protestant’s claims were granted … protestee would still be leading by 42,672 votes. This is a very far cry from tying, let alone exceeding, protestee’s [Lim] votes. Thus, we are left with no other conclusion [but that] the protestant has not made a reasonable recovery in his pilot clustered precincts.” Reached for comment, Atienza told the Inquirer: “We will file an appeal to elevate our petition to the commission en banc.”—Jaymee T. Gamil
Helper held for child’s slay
Murder charges were filed Thursday in the Pasig City Prosecutor’s Office against Ariel Pangarungan, 21, who allegedly drowned a 2-year-old girl in a basin in Pasig City. Pangarungan was accused of killing Markiesha Magbanua, and of sexually harassing the girl’s aunt, April Joy Galicia, 17, in their house on Urbano Avenue on Wednesday. According to Senior Superintendent Jesse Cardona, city police chief, the suspect, who was hired as a helper in the household, was irked when Markiesha started crying while he was making sexual advances on Galicia. The suspect allegedly took the child to the toilet and drowned her. He then took Galicia to the second floor of the house, and tied her up, Cardona said. The suspect escaped when a visitor arrived to check on Galicia and the child. Pangarungan was arrested later in his house in nearby Barangay (village) Sto. Tomas.—Kristine Mangunay
3 cops in extort try nabbed
An official of the Manila Police District (MPD) ordered the arrest of three of his own men after they were caught in an entrapment operation while they were trying to extort P50,000 from a building caretaker whom they had arrested on a fabricated drug charge. Concurrent MPD general assignment section and City Hall Police Action (Chapa) unit head Chief Inspector Marcelo Reyes named the suspects as Senior Police Officer 1 Gary June Gading, Police Officer 2 Fernando Coloma and PO1 Renato Martinez, all assigned under his unit, who were involved in the alleged payoff for the drug suspect’s release Thursday in Sampaloc. The MPD-GAS has been tapped to act on complaints against abusive policemen and mediates in confrontations between victims and suspected rogues in uniform.—Jeannette I. Andrade