Makati Mayor-elect Binay asks Comelec to dismiss Pena's election protest
By Christopher Lloyd T. Caliwan
MANILA, June 1 (PNA) – Makati City Mayor-elect Abigail Binay-Campos has asked the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to dismiss losing Makati mayoral candidate Romulo Peña, Jr.’s election protest.
In her response and counter-protest filed on May 30, Binay noted that Peña gave two different versions of his complaint, violating Section 3, Rule 6 of Comelec Resolution No. 8804.
The said resolution requires that two copies of the same version of the protest should be filed with Comelec and given to the protestee.
The proclaimed Makati mayor also asked Comelec to drop Peña’s protest as it failed to provide detailed information on the alleged electoral frauds in the protested precincts.
“A cursory examination of the Protest will reveal that its allegations are nothing but sweeping generalizations, legal conclusions, speculation, and conjecture,” Binay said.
“None of the allegations identify the specific acts and omissions that constitute the electoral anomaly, irregularity, or offense complained of, the persons and precincts involved, and the events that transpired in connection with such allegations of electoral anomaly, irregularity, or offense,” she added.
She further said that Peña “miserably failed” to disprove the legal presumption of regularity in the conduct of the elections.
Binay stressed that the Makati election “was conducted in accordance with law and under the careful and vigilant scrutiny of the general public.”
She added that Peña just wanted to “contravene the choice of the electorate, sow disunity among the constituents of the rightfully elected Mayor-Elect, and taint the legitimacy and regularity of the election process.”
Binay’s camp also noted that Peña’s complaint should be dismissed as it violated the 2004 Rules of Notarial Practice.
“Ang nilalaman ng Petisyon na ibinigay kay Mayor-elect Abby Binay ay iba sa Petisyon na sinumite sa COMELEC. Ito ay maliwanag na tangkang linlangin ang kampo ni Mayor-elect Abby Binay upang hindi nito masagot ang mga paratang laban sa kanya,” said Atty. Claro Certeza.
“Ayon sa batas, ang isang protesta ay dapat sumpaan ng naghahain nito sa pamamagitan ng isang ‘verification.’ Ang petisyon ni Kid Peña ay may iisa lamang notaryo bagama't dalawa ang bersyon nito. Hindi maaari na ang dalawang dokumento ay may iisa lamang notaryo kung kaya’t depektibo ang verification ng nasabing petisyon ni Kid Peña,” Certeza said.
Peña is protesting the counted votes after only obtaining 142,315 votes as against Campos with 160,120 with a difference of only 17,805 votes.
Peña lost to Binay by 17,805 votes and filed an election protest on May 20, claiming that the Binay camp committed fraud and vote buying.
Binay called Peña’s protest a “desperate bid to usurp the Office of the Mayor of Makati City from the rightful choice of the Makati City electorate.”
A Comelec random manual audit of four clustered precincts in Makati earlier confirmed there were no discrepancies in the results of election.
The Comelec Random Manual Audit Team (RMAT) audited on May 24 the election results in Clusters 62 (Brgy. Valenzuela), 272 (Brgy. Bel Air), 443 (Brgy. Pitogo) and 553 (Brgy. Rizal), and found that they were consistent with the automated count of the vote counting machines (VCMs).
“I have talked with the Comelec verifiers and they confirmed there were no discrepancies in the Makati election results. All precincts were declared to have no inconsistencies,” said Atty. Maribert Pagente, lead counsel of the United Nationalist Alliance and Team Binay.
Meanwhile, Peña on Tuesday vowed to seek a manual recount of votes after filing an election protest against Binay-Campos for alleged vote-buying and fraud.
Peña filed his protest last May 20 against alleged electoral fraud in the Mayoralty post during the May 9 election against Binay-Campos.
Peña noted that he filed the petition to seek enlightenment and to be fair to the public specially to those who voted for him.
Binay, the incumbent representative of the city's first district, is the daughter of former city mayor and outgoing Vice President Jejomar Binay and sister of the city's ousted mayor Jun Jun Binay. (PNA)