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HRET orders collection of ballots in relation to Durano vs. Frasco electoral protest

By: Morexette Marie B. Erram February 14,2020 - 07:55 PM

An Army soldier in full battle gear (right) secure Comelec personnel as they unload 272 vote counting machines and ballot boxes in this May 5, 2016 photo. |CDN file photo

CEBU CITY, Philippines — The House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal (HRET) directed election officers from over 400 precincts in Cebu’s 5th District to turnover ballot boxes in relation to the electoral protest filed by former Congressman Ramon “Red” Durano VI.

Durano lodged an electoral protest against present Cebu 5th District Representative Vincent Franco “Duke” Frasco.

The order, dated February 6, 2020, and penned by Supreme Court Associate Justice Marvic Mario Victor Leonen, stated that HRET found basis for the collection of the ballot boxes as well as other election-related documents and records from all 462 clustered precincts that comprised the fifth district of Cebu.

These covered precincts in the towns of Borbon, Carmen, Catmon, Compostela, Liloan, Pilar, Poro, San Francisco, Sogod and Tudela, and Danao City.

Leonen sits as the chairperson of HRET.

“Considering the allegations made by the parties in the instant case, the Tribunal finds basis for the collection of the ballot boxes containing the ballots, the Voter’s Registration Records (VRRs)/Book of Voters, the Election Day Computerized Voters’ List (EDCVLs) with voting records and all other election documents and paraphernalia used during the May 13, 2019 National and Local Elections from all four hundred sixty-two (462) clustered precincts…” the document read.

HRET, likewise, instructed election officers assigned in the mentioned precincts to ‘immediately turnover’ all records to duly authorized representatives of the Tribunal.

Durano, in July, requested HRET for a manual recount of the votes cast among the candidates running for congressman for Cebu’s 5th district, claiming there were ‘glaring irregularities recorded and observed’ in the May 13, 2019 polls.

Frasco won the seat against Durano with a margin of 36,000 votes. His election also marked the end of the Duranos’ seven-decade reign in Cebu’s fifth district.

The former mayor of Liloan town earlier called the electoral protest as confirmation of “just how out of touch he (Red Durano) is with the people of the fifth district.”/dbs

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