INCOMING Makati Mayor Abigail Binay urged the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to dismiss the electoral protest filed against her by Makati Mayor Romulo Peña Jr.
Binay noted that Peña gave two different versions of his complaint, violating Section 3, Rule 6 of Comelec Resolution No. 8804, which requires that two copies of the same version of the protest should be filed with the Comelec and given to the protestee.
“Ang nilalaman ng petisyon na ibinigay kay Mayor-elect Abby Binay ay iba sa petisyon na sinumite sa Comelec. Ito ay maliwanag na tangkang linlangin ang kampo ni Mayor-elect Abby Binay upang hindi nito masagot ang mga paratang laban sa kanya [The contents of the petition submitted to Mayor-elect Abby Binay are different from the petition submitted to the Comelec. This is clearly an attempt to mislead the camp of Mayor-elect Binay so that it would be unable to respond to the accusations],” said her lawyer Claro Certeza.
Binay’s camp also noted that Peña’s complaint violated the 2004 Rules of Notarial Practice.
“Ayon sa batas, ang isang protesta ay dapat sumpaan ng naghahain nito sa pamamagitan ng isang ‘verification.’ Ang petisyon ni Kid Peña ay may iisa lamang notaryo bagama’t dalawa ang bersyon nito. Hindi maaari na ang dalawang dokumento ay may iisa lamang notaryo kung kaya’t depektibo ang verification ng nasabing petisyon ni Kid Peña [By law, a protest must be sworn by through a “verification.” The Kid Peña’s petition has only one notary, even if two versions of it exist. It cannot be the case that the two documents have only one notary, so Kid Peña’s so-called petition is defective. Not that the two documents can have only one note, so Kid Peña’s petition is defective],” Certeza said.
Binay said Peña’s protest failed to provide detailed information on the alleged electoral fraud in the protested precincts.
“A cursory examination of the protest will reveal that its allegations are nothing but sweeping generalizations, legal conclusions, speculation, and conjecture,” she said.
“None of the allegations identify the specific acts and omissions that constitute the electoral anomaly, irregularity, or offense complained of, the persons and precincts involved, and the events that transpired in connection with such allegations of electoral anomaly, irregularity, or offense,” she added.
Binay stressed that the Makati election “was conducted in accordance with law and under the careful and vigilant scrutiny of the general public.”
Her camp claimed that it was Peña who cheated in the elections.
“Hindi maitatanggi ni Kid Pena na noong nakaraang eleksiyon, siya ang nakaupong mayor at ginamit niya ang lahat ng kanyang kapangyarihan sa kanyang pagkampanya. Sari-saring pabuya ang kanyang ibinigay sa mga tao upang siya ang ihalal [Kid Peña cannot deny that during the past election, he, as sitting mayor, used all resources at his command in his campaign. He gave various favors to the people in order to be elected],” Certeza said.
“Ang mga guro na nangasiwa ng eleksiyon, ang mga eskwelahan kung saan ginanap ito, at ang mga opisyales na nagmanman dito ay pawang tao ng lungsod sa ilalim ng kanyang administrasyon. Papaano niya masasabi na siya pa ang dinaya [The teachers who supervised the election, the schools in which it was held, and the officials who kept watch, were all city personnel under his administration. How can he say that he was cheated]?” he added.
Peña lost to Binay by 17,805 votes. He filed an election protest on May 20, claiming that the Binay camp committed fraud and vote buying.
A Comelec random manual audit of four clustered precincts in Makati earlier confirmed that there were no discrepancies in the results of the election.
“I have talked with the Comelec verifiers and they confirmed there were no discrepancies in the Makati election results. All precincts were declared to have no inconsistencies,” said Maribert Pagente, lead counsel of the United Nationalist Alliance and Team Binay.
Pagente said the audit results will be transmitted to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), which will prepare a report for the Comelec en banc.
Upon approval of the Comelec en banc, the report will be published nationwide, and the results will be made available to the public.