Eusebio appeals dismissal of poll protest vs Sotto
MANILA, Philippines — The camp of former Pasig Mayor Robert “Bobby” Eusebio has questioned the “erroneous” ruling of the Commission on Elections’ (Comelec) Second Division to junk his poll protest against incumbent Mayor Vico Sotto.
In a verified motion for reconsideration filed by his lawyers led by former Comelec chair Sixto Brillantes Jr., Eusebio asked the poll body en banc to reverse and set aside the division’s ruling, insisting his election protest was sufficient in form and substance.
Eusebio also asked the poll body to deny the special and affirmative defenses raised by Sotto “for utter lack of merit.”
The Comelec’s Second Division, in its Aug. 30 decision, found Eusebio’s election protest insufficient in form and contents, saying it failed to reflect a detailed specification of the acts or omissions complained of showing the alleged electoral fraud or irregularities in the protested precincts.
Eusebio, however, said the sworn statements of registered voters attached to his protest specified—with sufficient details—the fraud and irregularities committed and where these took place.
“Protestant most respectfully submits that it is a grave error for the honorable commission (Second Division) to abruptly order the immediate termination of this instant protest at its very infant stage,” he added.
According to Eusebio’s camp, the division “committed a reversible error, when it, in its assailed order, decided questions on issues not raised as protestee’s special or affirmative defenses.”
The former mayor stressed that Sotto’s camp never raised any issue regarding discrepancies among several election documents, which as alleged in the protest, “would reflect winning margins in favor of [Eusebio] that would lead to substantial recoveries.”
He also insisted that contrary to the division’s findings, his protest did provide a detailed specification of the acts or omissions complained of showing the electoral fraud, anomalies and/or irregularities in the protested precincts.
“Obviously, this honorable commission went overboard in its assailed resolution when it unduly imposed upon the protestant the burden to prove his case when the only issue, at least at this stage, is the sufficiency of the latter’s protest. No more, no less. Proof and evidence will definitely come later,” Eusebio said.
Sotto got 209,370 votes against Eusebio’s 121,556 in the May midterm elections.
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