Junk poll protest, Negros mayoral race winner asks court
BACOLOD CITY, Negros Occidental, Philippines — The winner in the recent mayoral race in Moises Padilla town, Negros Occidental province, has asked the court to dismiss the election protest filed against her by the outgoing mayor, saying the complaint lacked details of alleged election fraud or anomalies.
Mayor Magdaleno Peña had filed an election protest against his rival, Vice Mayor Ella Garcia Yulo, and sought a recount of votes in 40 clustered precincts of Moises Padilla.
The Commission on Elections said Yulo won the mayoral race with 13,056 votes. Peña received 5,493 votes.
Peña said the results in 40 clustered precincts had “illegal vote totals that are not reflective of the true results of voting and counting in the protested precincts.”
He said a manual recount and revision would have to be conducted to “uncover and expose the massive manipulation, alteration, distortion, padding and shaving, fabrication and manufacturing of vote totals in the canvassed results.”
In her answer filed in the La Carlota City Regional Trial Court, Yulo said Peña failed to provide details to support his allegations of irregularity in polling precincts that he cited in his protest.
She said the allegations were false and insufficient to establish a valid cause of action.
Yulo asked the court to order Peña to pay a total of P1.2 million in moral and exemplary damages, attorney’s fees, and litigation expenses, noting that the protest was clearly filed with “vile and malicious intent” to dishonor and discredit her. —Carla P. Gomez
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