Court unseats another town mayor in Zamboanga del Norte
ZAMBOANGA DEL NORTE, Philippines – A court has voided the proclamation of Arthur Tenorio as mayor of the Mutia town.
Tenorio became the second Zamboanga del Norte mayor to be unseated by Regional Trial Court Judge Jose Rene Dondoyano in 3 weeks, after Polanco town mayor Evan Hope Olvis.
The court has declared Lorrymir Adaza as the duly elected mayor of Mutia town.
Tenorio, who has remained at the Mutia Municipal Hall since Sunday, November 6, said he had filed an appeal before the Commission on Elections (Comelect) and a petition for certiorari before the Supreme Court.
He has padlocked the main entrance of the Municipal Hall and had it guarded. He said he would vacate the office if he could not get a temporary restraining order within the 20-day reglamentary period.
Tenorio got 3,063 votes in the May elections, while Adaza got got 2,977. In the judicial recount following Adaza’s protest, Tenorio’s votes increased to 3,156 and Adaza's votes to 3,074.
The court considered as invalid ballots that were undershaded and marked, except those that it deemed as "minimal" and "done innocently,” and stray ballots.
Subsequently, 22 votes were deducted from Adaza, and 112 votes from Tenorio, pushing Adaza to overtake the latter by just 8 votes.
Tenorio questioned why the judge “disallowed” undershaded and overshaded ballots in his case but “allowed” it in the Uy vs Olvis protest case.
In its decision on the Uy vs Olvis case, the court ruled: "The court finds that these votes (under-shaded and over-shaded) should be counted in favor of the candidates since the intention of the voters to vote for the particular candidate is clear irrespective of whether those are shades below fifty (50%) percent or shades beyond the space or oval.”
It added, “Verily, not to count them based on those grounds alone would be to disenfranchise the voters and a clear violation of their right to suffrage." – Rappler.com