Ex-VP Binay files electoral protest to contest Kid Peña’s victory
MANILA, Philippines – Former Vice President Jejomar Binay has filed an electoral protest to contest the victory of Makati City 1st District Rep. Romulo “Kid” Peña in the midterm elections
Binay’s camp, who filed the protest before the House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal (HRET) on Monday, is seeking a manual recount of votes in 235 clustered precincts that he claims have encountered irregularities.
“Protestant Jejomar C. Binay respectfully prays to the honorable tribunal that […] an order be issued directing the conduct of a manual recount of ballots casted and other election documents in all the 235 protested clustered precincts from the First District of Makati City,” the protest said.
“(An order be issued) creating and constituting a technical panel composed of independent experts appointed by the Honorable Tribunal to undertake and supervise the conduct of a comprehensive forensic analysis of the Automated Election System,” it added.
In the midterm elections, Peña got 71,035 votes while Binay — father of reelected Makati Mayor Abby Binay — received 65,229 votes, or a difference of 5,806 votes.
Binay’s camp however says that around 9,050 votes were wrongly read by the vote counting machines (VCMs) — which could have swayed the results in the former Vice President’s favor.
“The Congressional contest was marred by various manifestations of fraud, anomalies, irregularities and statistical improbabilities. Approximately 9,050 votes were disenfranchised to be Null/Misread Votes,” the election protest read.
The 2019 midterm elections marked the first time that the former Vice President had lost in an election in Makati.
In his protest, Binay also cited several statements made by President Rodrigo Duterte, who cast doubt on the efficacy and accuracy of an automated elections with Smartmatic.
“This election protest is filed not out of spite […] There were simply numerous reports of machine malfunctions, voter disenfranchisement, and other issues pertaining to widespread fraud,” Binay said in his prefatory statement.
“No less than the President himself, Honorable Rodrigo R. Duterte, publicly stated his displeasure with the conduct of the 2019 midterm elections. It is bittersweet for me to find out that even the President felt that the elections was marred by fraud and cheating,” he added.
He also accused Peña’s camp of conducting massive vote-buying operations weeks before the elections, with payments ranging from P500 to as high as P2,000.
“As a result of the vote-buying scheme employed by the team of Protestee, the results of the votes in Barangay San Antonio, where the Protestant and his family have been residing for years, was negatively affected,” Binay claimed. /muf
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