CEBU, Philippines – After losing his reelection bid for mayor in Daanbantayan, Cebu – by a hairline margin of 7 votes– Augusto Corro now refuses to concede and plans to file an electoral protest against newly-elected mayor Vicente Loot.
“Dili ko ka-concede (I can’t concede) because to concede is hypocrisy on my part,” Corro told Rappler.
The outgoing mayor explained that there is no sense in him conceding or accepting the results when he is planning to file an electoral protest. (READ: Mayor in northern Cebu town loses by 7 votes)
Corro suspects irregularities during the voting process. “Seven votes can easily be overturned. Naa gyu’y binuang nahitabo (Something fishy happened),” he said.
This is an about-face by Corro, who originally said after losing: “Life must go on… I’m ready to accept. In life, I have experienced a lot of ups and downs and this is just one.”
Corro, a Liberal Party (LP) bet, said why would the party’s standard-bearer Manuel “Mar” Roxas II and vice presidential candidate Leni Robredo both win in his town by a signifcant number of votes, yet he lost by only 7 votes. He added that he was leading in the local surveys by an “overwhelming number.”
“Daog na gyud ko sa mayoralty (I won the mayoralty race),” he said in a phone interview.
The newly-elected mayor is the husband of former mayor Maria Luisa Loot, who served from 1998 until 2013.
Corro said he received multiple reports of Loot’s alleged goons harassing his supporters on election day. His supporters claimed they were blocked from entering their respective precincts.
The outgoing mayor also reported that on May 9, Loot’s supporters carried umbrellas with Loot’s name printed on them. According to the Omnibus Election Code, voters are not allowed to bring any campaign materials into the precincts on election day.
On May 10, Loot was proclaimed as Daanbantayan mayo. The next day, hundreds of Corro’s supporters rallied outside the municipal hall in protest of their mayor’s loss. Corro, who had no knowledge of the rally, said he was quick to tell his supporters to stop and allow him to address the matter through legal means.
Corro told Rappler that he has already talked to his lawyers on the necessary documents and affidavit needed to prepare the filing of his electoral protest.
Cordova holds special election
Cordova town held its special election on Saturday, May 14, at Gabi Elementary School in Cordova, Cebu, This was after 458 voters of cluster 33 were not able to cast their vote last Monday, May 9, because wrong ballots were sent to the precinct. (READ: Voting ends near midnight in Cebu town)
About 19,000 voters participated in the special election nationwide. (READ: Comelec holds special elections)
The poll opened at 6 am and closed by 5 pm.
The Comelec Chair of Cordova, Rafael Nolasco oversaw informing voters who were not able to participate about the special election on Saturday.
BEI chairperson Jacquelyn Arong said the voters were informed about the details of the special elections through the media.
Senior Inspector Zosimo Jabas of the Cordova Police Station said that 20 military officers and 28 police officers were deployed to help secure the election. – Rappler.com
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