MANILA, Philippines – Four losing senatorial candidates filed on Monday, March 31, a petition before the Supreme Court (SC) seeking to nullify the proclamation of elected senators in the May 2013 polls.
The petitioners said the proclamation of senators by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) was done with grave abuse of discretion.
In a 25-page petition, the petitioners alleged that the Comelec “made the proclamation of duly elected Senators without showing that it has complied with the Authentication of Electronically Transmitted Election Results.”
“There is no dispute that the results of the May 13, 2013 national and local elections for senators is a matter of public concern. There is evident lack of transparency when the public respondent did not make public information that are intimately related to a determination of the validity of the canvass it conducted,” the petition read.
The petitioners include Ricardo Penson, Hans Christian Señeres, Rizalito David, and Baldomero Falcone who all lost in the 2013 senatorial race. They were represented by lawyer Samson Alcantara, also among the losing senatorial bets in 2013.
Thirty-three candidates ran for senator in the May 2013 elections. Senator-elect Grace Poe topped the race.
Penson, Señeres, David, and Falcone alleged that the Comelec also abused its discretion when “it did not make public the results of the Random Manual Audit” as mandated by law.
Petitioners asked the High Court “to take cognizance” of their case and judge whether the Comelec “made a mockery” of the people’s right to suffrage.
They added that they wanted to “dispel doubts, pervasive and widespread, on the part of the Filipino people about the legality, accuracy, and reliability of the 2013 automated national and local elections.” – Rappler.com