Duke Frasco claims victory vs. Red in 2019 polls; Durano camp says HRET decision not final

·2 min read

CEBU Representative Vincent Franco “Duke” Frasco (Cebu Province, fifth) claims he has defeated former congressman Ramon "Red" Durano VI in the manual recount by the House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal (HRET).

But in a statement sent to SunStar Cebu on Saturday, May 7, 2022, Durano's lawyer, Gregorio Larrazabal, said it is too early for Frasco to claim victory as the resolution of the election protest filed by Durano remains pending before the HRET.

Based on the initial result of the recount, Frasco claimed he earned more votes compared to the election returns and statement of votes in the May 13, 2019 elections.

Frasco said he is happy with the results adding that it shows that the people of the fifth district in the 2019 elections really wanted change as reflected in the results. Frasco won by a margin over 35,000 votes over Durano.

"Over the past two years we have delivered on our promise of change in the district through the implementation of our projects and programs that have uplifted the lives of the people of the 5th district of Cebu," said Frasco.

But Larrazabal claims Frasco is misleading the district's voters, adding that HRET has yet to count some "wet ballots" that are in the process of being decrypted.

"To claim that the votes cast for the protestee (Frasco) increased, further the lead, and won against the protestant (Durano) is misleading. On the contrary, the protestant is gaining votes due to manual counting notwithstanding that there were wet ballots that are yet to be counted when the HRET decrypts the ballots or uses the digital images of the ballots," Larrazabal said.

"Let us await the official order from the HRET. Do not spread fake news, respect the process. Respect the Tribunal," Larrazabal added.

On July 15, 2019, Durano filed an electoral protest before the HRET for a manual recount of the votes cast in the Fifth District and to void Frasco’s election.

The recount was conducted on November 23, 24, 25, 29 and December 1, 2021.

In the May 2019 elections, Frasco was proclaimed winner with a total of 152,436 votes or 56.61 percent against Durano who got 116,826 votes or 43.38 percent in the entire fifth district.

Frasco is seeking reelection against Durano in the May 9, 2022 elections. (JKV, PR)

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