LP’s Tañada Jr. files protest in Quezon congressional race
MANILA, Philippines – “Toby” Tañada Jr. has contested his defeat as the representative of Quezon’s fourth district, asking the Commission on Elections to credit to him the votes cast for a disqualified candidate that shared his surname.
Toby, the brother of outgoing Quezon fourth district Rep. Lorenzo Tañada III, has filed a petition before the Comelec to annul the proclamation of his rival Angelina “Helen” Tan.
Toby said the canvassers should have counted in his favor the votes cast for Alvin John Tañada, whose name was already printed on the ballot by the time he was disqualified from the race.
Toby said that had Alvin John’s 4,735 votes been credited to him, he would have won over Tan with a 3,000 vote lead.
Tan was declared winner with 53,403 votes, and Toby placed a close second with 53,401 votes.
Toby, in a statement, contended that Alvin John was only made to run in the midterm elections in order to create turmoil during the polls.
“As clear as daylight, the only conclusion one can draw from this is that Alvin John Tañada was fielded to cause confusion among the voters, make a mockery of the electoral process and thwart the will of the people,” he said.
He noted that the Comelec, in disqualifying Alvin John, ruled that the latter had an intent to mislead, misinform or deceive the electorate when he declared that he had lived in Gumaca, Quezon for 24 years when this was apparently not the case.
According to Toby, the votes for Alvin John should have been credited to him because he was the only Tañada in the running, given that Alvin John was no longer considered a candidate during the election.
Alvin John’s name was included in the ballot because these were already printed by the time the poll body decided to take him out of the race.
“Since he [Alvin John] was not a candidate, how could the canvassing boards tally the Tañada votes in his favor? These votes should have been counted in my favor as the only Tañada candidate for that position,” Toby said.
Tan was “prematurely, erroneously, and illegally proclaimed,” he added.
Only one Liberal Party candidate for a congressional seat won in Quezon province, Vicente Alcala from the second district.