Defeated Pinamungajan mayoralty bet files electoral protest, wants manual recount
CEBU CITY, Philippines – A mayoralty bet in Pinamungajan, Cebu wants a recount and revision of ballots, after claiming ‘massive anomalies’ that allegedly occurred in this southwestern town during the May 9 polls.
Defeated Pinamungajan mayoralty candidate Salipada ‘Liplip’ Cerna on May 19 filed an electoral protest before Branch 7 of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) in Toledo City, hoping that the judiciary would proclaim him as the ‘real winner’ in the election.
In a press release sent to members of the media, Cerna claimed that there were irregularities and possible electoral fraud in their town which may have contributed to his opponent’s victory.
These included alleged ‘misreadings’ and errors committed by the Voting Counting Machines (VCMs) in Pinamungajan, prompting Cerna to contest all 73 clustered precincts in the town.
“They voted for Liplip Cerna but on the voter receipt, the one that appeared is Jecjec Baricuatro. They complained to the Board of Election Inspector but only told that such technical problems be only recorded in the minutes of the voting,” explained Cerna.
He also said the electoral protest would help shed light on why the Municipal Certificate of Canvass recorded a total of 1,946 rejected ballots even if no incidents of rejected ballots were made during the actual polls.
“These are massive votes automatically deducted by the Voting Counting Machine on its own and would greatly affect the outcome of the elections. Speculations may surmise automated fraud. But presumably, the one who benefits from this scheme is the administration candidates. And the only way to uncover it is by opening the ballots thru revision,” Cerna added.
Cerna lost to Pinamangujan mayor-elect Jecjec Baricuatro.
According to the full and unofficial results from the Commission on Election’s (Comelec) Media Transparency Server, Baricuatro, the wife of outgoing Mayor Glenn Baricuatro, won after garnering a total of 21,307 votes.
Cerna, who is running under Promdi, got 19,343 votes which means Baricuatro from 1Cebu leads by a margin of 1,964 votes.
CDN Digital is trying to reach out to Baricuatro for her comments as of this writing.
Pinamungajan is a second-class municipality located approximately 56 kilometers southwest of Cebu City.
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