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Comelec-Cebu finds no grounds to hold special elections in Cordova

By: Morexette Marie B. Erram - Multimedia Reporter - CDN Digital | May 16,2022 - 04:46 PM

Supporters of Mayor Mary Therese "Teche" Sitoy-Cho gather outside the municipal hall of the Cordova town. | Futch Anthony Inso

Supporters of Mayor Mary Therese “Teche” Sitoy-Cho gather outside the municipal hall of the Cordova town. | Futch Anthony Inso

CEBU CITY, Philippines — Despite allegations of massive vote-buying and irregularities, authorities found no grounds to hold Special Elections in Cordova town, Cebu. 

The Commission on Elections in the province (Comelec-Cebu) assured that Election Day last May 9 in Cordova was peaceful and orderly.

“So far, we have not received any complaints of election-related violence from Cordova…The elections there were peaceful and orderly,” said lawyer Jerome Brillantes, acting provincial elections supervisor of Comelec-Cebu.

“True, there were VCMs (vote-counting machines) that malfunctioned but these were immediately addressed, and (this) did not stop voters from casting their ballots,” he added. 

Comelec-Cebu made this statement after outgoing Mayor Mary Therese “Teche” Sitoy-Cho on Monday, May 16, called out her opponent’s camp, incoming Mayor and outgoing Councilor Cesar “Didoy” Suan, and accused them of allegedly perpetrating vote-buying and other anomalies during the elections. 

Cho, on Monday’s rally in front of Cordova’s Town Hall, announced that they would be taking legal action against Suan including an electoral protest. 

She also said her camp was planning to request the Comelec to hold special elections.

“One of the grounds for holding special elections in an area is when the actual elections were halted due to force majeure,” Brillantes pointed out. 

The Comelec-Cebu, in the meantime, has yet to receive a copy of Sitoy-Cho’s electoral protest.

However, they advised her camp to lodge their electoral protest before the proper forum.

“For electoral protests, since they are a municipality, they must file it before the Regional Trial Court that has jurisdiction over their town,” said Brillantes.

Brillantes also said Sitoy-Cho must file the disqualification case against Suan before Comelec en banc, and not in local election offices. 

“When it comes to disqualification, the Comelec en banc has jurisdiction over it. We, the local Comelec offices, do not have jurisdiction over them,” he added.

Suan won over Sitoy-Cho in Cordova’s mayoralty race, leading with a margin of over 4,000 votes. 

Suan’s victory also ended the Sitoys’ five-decade rule in Cordova, a third-class municipality bordering Lapu-Lapu City in Mactan island. 

Earlier, on Monday evening, May 9, 2022, the camp of Sitoy-Cho filed at the Comelec Cordova and Comelec Cebu Province a disqualification case with motion to suspend proclamation, due to alleged massive vote-buying. Despite this, the Comelec proclaimed Suan, his vice-mayoralty candidate, and six candidates for councilor under the Team Asenso for winning the election. RELATED STORIES

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TAGS: Brillantes, Cebu Daily News, cebu news, Cordova town, irregularities, VCMs

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