• SC to Comelec: Answer petition on Senate polls

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    THE Supreme Court (SC) has ordered the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to respond to the petition of four losing senatorial candidates questioning the proclamation of winners in the May 2013 polls.

    The four senatorial bets had pointed out errors in the canvassing of results.In an en banc resolution dated April 22, 2014 but released recently, the SC ordered the election court to lodge its comment within a period of 10 days from notice.

    “The Court resolved, without giving due course to the petition, to require the respondent to comment thereon within 10 days from notice hereof,” the resolution states.

    The resolution was signed and promulgated by lawyer Enriqueta Vidal, clerk of court of the SC en banc.

    In the petition for certiorari before the high court, the petitioners who sought refuge at the SC are Rizalito David, Baldomero Falcone, Ricardo Penson and Hans Christian Señeres.

    They accused the Comelec of abusing its authority after it proclaimed the winning senators despite failure to comply with the Authentication of Electronically Transmitted Election Results, as mandated by law.

    It was also pointed out that the election court has set aside the findings and recommendations of the technical evaluation committee (TEC) that observed vote padding and shaving in a number of precincts.

    “It appears from the findings of the TEC that there was automated ‘dagdag-bawas’, re–sulting in the proclamation of ‘accidental’ senators, when it concluded that lines caused ‘additional votes for candidates even if there were not votes for the candidate’ and ‘loss of votes for candidates who received votes which were not counted because the line caused an overvote’,” the resolution reads.

    “Despite doubt on the accuracy of the count done by the PCOS [Precinct Count Optical Scan] machines, the public respondent made the partial proclamations. The actuation of the public respondent is a capricious and whimsical exercise of judgment as is equivalent to excess, or a lack of jurisdiction is evidence of grave abuse of discretion,” it added.

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