Atienza poll recount bid junked anew
Former Manila Mayor Jose “Lito” Atienza Jr.’s bid to hold an extended recount contesting the results of the 2010 Manila mayoral elections has once again been junked by the Commission on Elections (Comelec), according to Ricardo de Guzman, chief of staff of incumbent Mayor Alfredo Lim.
Once again citing “lack of merit,” the Comelec issued on January 6 a resolution denying Atienza’s motion for reconsideration on the poll body’s First Division’s September decision dismissing his protest.
In a phone interview, Atienza vowed to appeal the decision: “We will seek all recourses within the Comelec. If we need to bring this to the Supreme Court, we will do so.”
He added: “Why wouldn’t they continue the recount? We already paid the deposit for them to do so.”
The decision followed a two-month manual recount last year which found Lim garnering 64,989 votes in pilot precincts against Atienza’s 20,130.
Atienza then requested that the Comelec continue the recount to cover all precincts in Manila instead of just the pilot 20 percent, or 200 precincts, a request that was thrown out in the September decision.
The Comelec en banc, which had received Atienza’s motion for reconsideration, only sustained the First Division’s decision declaring that “the protestant failed to establish the merit or legitimacy of his election protest from his pinpointed pilot precincts” and “there is no more need to proceed with the recount of the rest of the protested clustered precincts.”
“The conclusion is premised on the finding that even in the best scenarios for protestant, he (Atienza) would not be able to overcome the lead of the protestee (Lim),” the Comelec en banc decision said.
Atienza, however, alleged that the automated poll results, were “pre-manufactured” by Lim’s staff, adding their complaints of discrepancies were valid, such as the number of ballots not matching the number of voters.