Comelec official: May 9 polls credible, honest

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AN OFFICIAL of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) has insisted that the May 9 national and local elections in Cebu Province was “credible and honest.”

"PPCRV (Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting) and other watchdog have signified how credible our election is," lawyer Jerome Brillantes, Comelec Cebu Provincial Office acting elections supervisor, told SunStar Cebu after defeated mayoral candidate Salipada “Liplip” Cerna in Pinamungjan town filed a petition for a recount of the ballots due to alleged “electoral fraud.”

Cerna, who ran under Promdi, lost by 1,964 votes to One Cebu Party’s Jecjec Baricuatro, the wife of incumbent Pinamungajan Mayor and vice mayor-elect Glenn Baricuatro.

The defeated mayoral candidate only garnered 19,343 votes compared to Baricuatro’s 21,307.

Cerna’s petition was filed 19 days after the Municipal Board of Canvassers of Pinamungajan proclaimed Baricuatro as the winner on May 10, or a day after the elections.

Cerna said that “aside from the massive ubiquitous vote buying, harassment, and employment of high-handed tactics such as arresting the key leaders of the protestant and depriving them of their rights to vote, the vot(e) counting machine is being used to deprive the Municipality of Pinamungajan of the rightful Mayor to lead the municipality.”

He cited hundreds of alleged “misreadings” by the vote counting machine as reflected on the receipts but they were only told that such occurrence was merely a technical problem and would only be recorded in the minutes of the voting. (MKG)

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