DEFEATED mayoral candidate Romulo “Kid” Peña Jr. on Friday filed an electoral protest before the Commission on Elections (Comelec) over alleged poll fraud in Makati City (Metro Manila).
The outgoing Makati mayor lost to former Congresswoman Mar-Len Abigail Binay by more than 18,000 votes, most of which came from poll precincts in Peña’s supposed bailiwick of District 2.
Peña said he had obtained photos, videos and testimonies of residents to prove that his name did not appear in the voting receipts of people who voted for him, as well as the massive vote-buying of his opponent.
Some voters and poll watchers were also harassed on the night of May 9, he added.
Binay got 160,320 votes – enough to dethrone Peña, who took over the mayoral post of her brother, Junjun, over corruption charges.
Peña asked the poll body to manually recount the ballots in District 2 alone, as he got a higher number of votes than Binay in District 1.
He said his fight is for the “clamor” of the people who have been staging a rally at the city hall quadrangle.
“Kaya tayo nag-file is to seek enlightenment at saka karapatan ito ng mga tao na bumoto sa atin [The reason why we are filing this is to seek enlightenment. This is the right of the people who voted for us],” he said. “Hindi kami at peace sa nangyari [We are not at peace with what happened].”
Peña’s supporters have organized a “Piso Para sa Pagbabago [One Peso for Change] for Manual Recount” to raise P10 million for the appeal. Some are even sending P100,000-worth of checks.
Binay earlier described the move of Peña as a “sign of desperation.”
She brushed off cheating accusations and noted that it was Peña who has the machinery to tamper with the election results.
Abigail is the fourth Binay to serve as Makati mayor. Her family members have held the mayoral post in the city for 29 years, from 1986 to 2015.