MANILA, Philippines – Former Puerto Princesa mayor Edward Hagedorn appeared before the Commission on Elections (Comelec) in Manila on Wednesday, August 26, to protest the results of the recall elections held 3 months ago in Puerto Princesa, Palawan.
Hagedorn said he wants a recount of the recall elections in May where his former ally, Lucilo Bayron, won as mayor by more than 5,000 votes.
More than 80,000 voters joined the recall elections. It was the second in Puerto Princesa’s history.
In an interview with reporters, Hagedorn said that he lost in the tight race because his opponents harassed his supporters.
Hagedorn said “about 3,000 motorcycle-riding men entered Puerto Princesa on the eve of the elections,” and triggered chaos.
“We hope to be given justice,” he said.
He added he wants to show people that there was cheating and “terrorism” during the recall elections in May.
Hagedorn to run for mayor
While pursuing this election protest, Hagedorn said he wants to run again as Puerto Princesa mayor in the 2016 elections.
He stressed the value of his election protest even if he will run again as mayor.
“Well, ang importante eh malaman ng mga mamamayan ‘yung klase ng ginawang mane-obra during the elections para hindi naman maulit sa 2016,” Hagedorn told reporters.
(Well, what’s important is to let the people know the kinds of cheating done during the elections so that these willnot be repeated in 2016.)
Hagedorn will be running under the ruling Liberal Party. Bayron belongs to the opposition United Nationalist Alliance.
Bayron, former city vice mayor, defeated Hagedorn's wife Maria Elena in the 2013 mayoral race. Bayron got 44,045 votes while Mrs Hagedorn garnered 35,160.
His victory put an end to the Hagedorns' two-decade rule in Puerto Princesa. – Rappler.com
Paterno R. Esmaquel II, news editor of Rappler, specializes in covering religion and foreign affairs. He obtained his MA Journalism degree from Ateneo and later finished MSc Asian Studies (Religions in Plural Societies) at RSIS, Singapore. For story ideas or feedback, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.