Former Caloocan Mayor Enrico Echiverri has filed an election protest before the Commission on Election (Comelec), accusing the camp of reelected Mayor Oscar Malapitan of cheating in the recently concluded elections.
Echiverri said his complaint showed the details of the rampant anomalies committed by Malapitan’s camp before, during, and after the May 9 elections that cast doubt on the integrity of the results.
“I was truly appalled by the way incumbent Mayor Oca Malapitan conducted his campaign. From the onset, he made use of unfair means and his influence as the sitting mayor to his advantage,” Echiverri said.
He said Malapitan “blatantly and illegally used his connections with the administration to launch a deplorable and dishonorable bid for the seat.”
“I shall not allow this to simply slide because it was the mandate of the people of Caloocan that was compromised in this election,” Echiverri said.
The supposed election-related violations perpetrated by Malapitan include vote buying, glaring irregularities in the ballots, detailing of DPSTM [Department of Public Safety and Traffic Management] personnel of city hall as Comelec deputies, as well as violations on the protocol set by Comelec to favor Malapitan.
Echiverri particularly pointed to the early delivery of election paraphernalia, discrepancies in the voters’ lists and ballots, “over-voting” and “under-voting” in some precincts, all of which, he said, were done to favor Malapitan.
“The VCMs [Vote Counting Machines] were also delivered on the actual day of the elections, leaving no opportunity for it to go on a testing and sealing three days before the election as protocol dictates,” Echiverri lamented.
“I have been in public service for a long time and seriously, I have never encountered this level of abuse of authority and massive cheating just to stay in power. I am appalled. I am disappointed that my opponent chose this way of doing things,” he added.
“My election protest is merely a summary of all the violations that have happened throughout this campaign but if I were to detail every little detail, I would need to write a novel. It is my hope that the Comelec acts on this swiftly, to prove their commitment to safeguard the people’s mandate,” Echiverri said.