• SC dismisses petition to unseat 12 senators


    THE Supreme Court (SC) has thrown out a petition of a political party seeking to nullify proclamation of the 12 winning senators in the 2013 national elections.

    In a seven-page ruling promulgated by Clerk of Court Felipa Anama last July 14, 2015 but was released to the media just recently, the tribunal denied the petition filed by Bangon Pilipinas represented by Bishop Leonardo Alconga and in behalf of Bro. Eddie Villanueva.

    The group asked the SC to issue a writ declaring as null and void the proclamation of the senators made by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) and all acts in the conduct of 2013 elections insofar as the candidates for senators are concerned by conducting manual count of the 78,000 precincts.

    It claimed that there were discrepancies in the results that brought about the alleged manipulation of 37 million votes.

    Bangon, in taking the cudgels for Villanueva, who placed 19th overall among the 33 candidates vying for the 12 Senate seats in the 2013 elections, based the alleged nullity of the proclamation of the senators as the winners on some grounds.

    It sought an order from the court stopping the use of PCOS (Precinct Count Optical Scan) machines and the Automated Election System of Smartmatic and the source code of Dominion Voting System Corp. until the tribunal resolved the same.

    Alconga argued that the Comelec practically privatized the electoral process and left it to the control and supervision of Smartmatic and Dominion, saying the 12 winning senators were prematurely proclaimed.

    The petitioner claimed that the canvassed returns showed that they were programmed to produce a “60-30-10” pattern, wherein 60 percent of the votes favored Team PNoy, 30 percent of the votes went to the United Nationalist Alliance and the remaining 10 percent went to small parties and independent candidates including petitioner Villanueva.

    But according to the SC, the alleged privatization of the election process and unsatisfactory system capabilities of the PCOS machines are issues that have already been passed upon by the tribunal.

    The court held that Bangon has failed to demonstrate that it is entitled to injunctive relief.
    The SC averred that the party “should have pursued the proper remedy by filing an election protest.”

    “[T]he court cannot issue an injunction based on factual matters yet to be established and solely on legal arguments already debunked in past case precedents,” it pointed out.


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