Losing Bulacan candidate in coin toss files protest

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BULACAN: The mayoral candidate from Bocaue town who lost in a coin toss to determine the real winner in a tied vote between two top contenders filed a petition before the Commission On Elections (Comelec) in Manila, claiming irregularity in the conduct of the elections.

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Jim Valerio, former Bulacan provincial administrator, asked the poll body to annul or declare as void the proceedings of the Board of Canvassers of Bocaue, Bulacan, and to nullify the proclamation of Joni “JJV” Villanueva as elected mayor.

The 10-page petition, under Case No. SPC 16-005, was based on Sec. 5(b), “Procedures for Petition on the Ground of Illegal Composition and Proceedings of the Board of Canvassers” and Sec. 6, “Illegal Proceedings Discovered after Proclamation” of Comelec Resolution No. 8804.

In the May 9 elections, both Villanueva and Valerio garnered 16,694 votes. This prompted Municipal Board of Canvassers (BOC) Chairman Deogracias Danao and Vice Chairman Benjamin Isidro to summon both candidates to appear for the drawing of lots to determine and proclaim the winner based on the Comelec ruling.

Villanueva personally appeared before the BOC, while Valerio was represented by his legal counsel Michael Sajor. Both parties agreed to have a coin toss instead of drawing of lots.

Villanueva won with a 3-0 score in a best-of-five system agreed on by both parties.

Valerio claimed that the BOC, despite his absence and lack of proper representation, proceeded with the tie-breaker, which was in total violation of the provision of the B.P. Bilang 881 (Omnibus Election Code) and Comelec Resolution No. 10083.

He added in his affidavit that only later in the afternoon was he informed that the tie-breaking activity proceeded without his presence and proper representation, thereby making the action of the BOC “arbitrary, irregular and illegal and the toss of coin is irregular and invalid.”

Meanwhile, Villanueva’s legal counsel, Michael Santiago, said that they have not yet received a copy of the petition filed by Valerio.

Santiago added that to them, the election is already finished, and it is time to move on and build a better Bocaue.

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