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Toss Coin After Election Tie
« on: January 13, 2017, 03:31:51 PM »
Comelec dismisses petition to annul victory of winning Bocaue 'coin toss mayor'

BOCAUE, Bulacan, Jan. 12 (PNA) -- The Second Division of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) has dismissed the petition of losing Bocaue mayoral candidate Jim Valerio to annul and nullify the proclamation of his rival Eleanor "Joni" Villanueva-Tugna as winning mayor of this town in the May 9, 2016 elections.

It can be recalled that the mayoralty race in this town, known as the “fireworks capital” of the country and for its colorful fluvial festival, was decided via a coin toss after Tugna and Valerio both received an equal number of votes (16,694 votes each).

Tugna scored a 3-0 on a best of five mechanics against Valerio. She was immediately proclaimed the winner of the mayoral race.

Valerio was contesting that he was not present and was not properly represented when the Municipal Board of Canvassers (MBOC) conducted the breaking of tie via the toss of coin.

In a 10-page resolution, the Comelec Second Division-- headed by Presiding Commisioner Al L. Parreno, together with Commissioners Arthur D. Lim and Sheriff M. Abas, dismissed the petition after pointing out that “a coin toss is a luck-based method in the same way that drawing of lots is based on luck.”

The Second Division also stated that “it is noteworthy that the agreement to conduct the “toss coin” as means to break the tie was voluntarily entered into by the parties’ respective authorized representatives, as evidenced by a written gentleman’s agreement that legal counsels of the parties voluntarily signed. This act of petitioner’s counsel, duly authorized by by him to act as such, is binding upon the petitioner.”   

Furthermore, the Second Division also stated that under the provisions of Philippine election laws, “it can be seen that in an election resulting in a tie, the law provides for drawing of lots of the candidates who garnered an equal number of votes as the method by which the tie will be broken; thereafter, the candidate who may be favored by luck shall be proclaimed the winner.”

The poll body also explained that “while the law expressly mentions this method of breaking the tie, it does not, however, prohibit any similar method to determine the lucky, and thus, the winning candidate.”

It also added that “neither did the law declare that the use of any other methods, likewise based on luck, is a ground for the annulment of the proclamation of the candidate favored by luck.”

The Comelec’s Second Division stated that they found no irregularity in the way the MBOC used a coin toss, a method  based purely on luck, to break the tie.

Last Tuesday, the camp of Mayor Tugna announced that  Judge Herminigildo Dumlao of Branch 81 of the Bulacan Regional Trial Court dismissed the election protest also filed by Valerio.

In the said decision, the court sustained Tugna's argument that complainant/protester Jim Valerio "failed to give a detailed description of the acts or omissions complained of as required by Sec. 10(c)(iv), Rule 2 of A.M. No. 10-4-1-SC, otherwise known as the "The 2010 Rules of Procedure for Municipal Election Contests".

The protest was filed after Valerio lost in a coin toss alleging that in 34 clustered precints "frauds and irregularities were committed in the conduct of the election and during the canvassing of the election returns".

Tugna's lawyers Romulo Macalintal and Antonio Carlos Bautista asked the court to summarily dismiss the said protest for being insufficient in form and substance and for failure of Valerio to make a detailed specification of the acts or omissions complained of showing the electoral frauds, anomalies or irregularities in the protested precincts as required by the Supreme Court Rules for election protests involving elective municipal officials.

The court said that Valerio did not indicate in his protest the particular acts or omissions which amounted to fraud or irregularities committed in the conduct of election. (PNA)
LAP/ZST/EGGAMOS

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