The Regional Trial Court (RTC) in Malolos City, Bulacan has dismissed an election protest filed against “toss-coin” Mayor Eleanor “Joni” Villanueva-Tugna of Bocaue town in Bulacan.
Tugna’s victory, a decision reached by a coin toss in the May 2016 mayoralty elections, was affirmed by RTC Judge Herminigildo Dumlao of Branch 81.
In a 21-page 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 2010 Rules of Procedure for Municipal Election Contests.
Tugna’s lawyers Romulo Macalintal and Antonio Carlos Bautista asked the court to summariy dismiss Valerio’s protest for being insufficient in form and substance for his failure to present 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 positions.
The court thus affirmed the position of Tugna’s lawyers and dismissed Valerio’s protest.
The Bocaue mayoral election was highlighted by the coin toss on May 10 to break the tie between Tugna and Valerio who got exactly 16,694 votes each.
Tugna scored 3-0 on a best of five coin tosses against Valerio before local Commission on Elections officials.
Valerio filed the protest after he lost in a coin toss.
He then alleged that in 34 clustered precincts “fraud and irregularities were committed in the conduct of the elections and during the canvassing of election returns.”
Bro. Eddie Villanueva, Mayor Tugna’s father, said the scenario in Bocaue may be viewed in he light of the Bible verse in Proverbs 16:33 “We may throw the dice, but the Lord determines how they fall.”