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Election protest new dilemma for Leila

/ 06:46 PM October 06, 2016
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Sen. Leila de Lima (INQUIRER PHOTO)

Her problems just won’t stop.

Sen. Leila de Lima, who is being dragged in the proliferation of illegal drugs inside the New Bilibid Prison, is now facing another dilemma: an election protest.

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Former Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Chair Francis Tolentino, who had placed 13th in the senatorial race, filed an election protest against De Lima before the Senate Electoral Tribunal (SET). De Lima led Tolentino by around 1.3 million votes.

Tolentino specifically asked the SET to unseat De Lima, accusing her of poll fraud.

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The SET has already conducted a closed door preliminary conference on Tuesday about the case.

“It (cheating) was with the electronic transmission. There probably was double transmission,” Tolentino told reporters.

“If you saw the results, the margin of votes between the first place to the 12th place was only about 80,000 votes. But when it came to the 13th place, the margin became so big,” Tolentino said.

Tolentino said he had already submitted the documents and affidavits of witnesses.

De Lima has replied to Tolentino’s complaint, saying she does not have the resources to fund her campaign.

“That’s not true because she reportedly had drug money that fueled her campaign,” said Tolentino. “There should really be no narco money involved in elections.”

Apart from ouster of De Lima and his proclamation as duly elected senator, Tolentino said he also hoped that his protest would lead to reforms in the automated polls.

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“We are hoping that the counting of votes are done manually in the precincts and only the transmission of results is automated so that the people would really see that their votes are counted,” he added.

Tolentino has been ordered by SET to submit a reply within five days to De Lima’s comment.

The SET is a nine-man body chaired by Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio. Its members are composed of two other Supreme Court Associate Justices and six senators.

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TAGS: Bilibid drug trade, Elections 2016, Electoral protest, Francis Tolentino, Leila de Lima, New Bilibid Prison, Senate Electoral Tribunal
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