Electoral protest vs Cebu's Gwen Garcia junked
CEBU CITY, Philippines—The House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal (HRET) has affirmed the election of Cebu 3rd District Rep. Gwen Garcia junking the election protest filed by rival Geraldine Yapha, a former Mayor of Pinamungajan.
In its decision dated June 8, HRET dismissed the election protest contesting the 1,984 vote lead that Garcia got in the May 2013 elections. In the appreciation of votes, Garcia’s lead even got more votes than it was earlier counted when proclaimed.
Upon proclamation of winner in 2013, Yapha got 103,440 votes while Garcia got 105,424. After the HRET reviewed the 307 clustered precincts, Yapha got 103,611 votes while Garcia got 105,886 votes — an increase of about 2,275 margin against the defeated candidate.
“Since no recovery of votes was established in favor of Yapha, the dismissal of the protest without further proceedings was found to have been in order,” said lawyer Christina Garcia-Frasco, daughter of Rep. Garcia.
Garcia, former governor of Cebu, ran as House Representative in the 3rd District and won. Her younger brother, then incumbent 3rd District Rep. Pablo John, ran for governor and lost the governorship to Hilario Davide III.
Earlier in 2013, Yapha contested that around 49,000 ballots were not counted by the PCOS machines used in the elections.
“It will be recalled that Yapha had filed an Urgent Motion to Withdraw Election Protest and Unused Cash Deposit dated 30 June 2015 wherein she stated that she is withdrawing her protest, but not conceding her loss in the 2013 Elections,” Garcia-Frasco said.
“The Decision of the HRET dismissing Yapha's Protest renders moot Yapha's withdrawal, and clearly affirms Congresswoman Garcia's victory and proclamation as the duly elected representative of the Third District of Cebu.”
Cebu’s 3rd district is composed of the City of Toledo and the towns of Barili, Balamban, Pinamungajan, Aloguinsan, Tuburan, and Asturias.
The HRET decision was signed by Associate Justice Presbitero Velasco Jr., chairman, and members Assoc. Justices Diosdado Peralta and Lucas Bersamin, and House Representatives Franklin Bautista, Joselito Andrew Mendoza, Wilfredo Mark Enverga, Jerry Trenas, and Luzviminda Ylagan.
The only member of the HRET that did not sign the order is Rep. Maria Theresa Bonoan of Manila. – Rappler.com