THE CLAIM made by the camp of Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim that he won overwhelmingly over his rival, Lito Atienza, in last year?s mayoral elections based on the results of a manual recount of ballots is premature, an official of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) said on Tuesday.
?The final figures of the manual recount have yet to be presented before us for our appreciation. We have 10 days to make a ruling,? Commissioner Rene Sarmiento, First Division chair, said in a phone interview.
Sarmiento said the results disclosed by Lim?s camp were ?unofficial? although he did not refute the figures. Lim claimed that he garnered 65,375 votes compared to Atienza?s 20,340 based on a recount of the votes cast in 200 of the city?s 1,411 polling precincts.
Under Comelec rules, a protesting candidate may call for a recount of 20 percent of the precincts?about 200 in Manila?to show that there were substantial discrepancies or anomalies in the counting and results.
According to Sarmiento, Atienza?s camp may still file a motion to recount the results from the rest of the polling precincts in Manila although he said that should the report on the results of the initial recount of 200 ballot boxes be presented, the division may already come out with a ruling rejecting or dismissing the protest outright unless Atienza presents more evidence of fraud.
In an earlier interview, Atienza told the Inquirer that he would push for a recount of the rest of the ballots cast in the city?s 1,411 polling precincts.