CEBU CITY, Philippines – Members of Team Rama checked the public pulse regarding the local election results through a public review of votes on Saturday, May 14.
More than 500 supporters from different barangays in Cebu City gathered in front of city hall for their second prayer rally.
“Kamo gipasabot sa pilosopiya. Gipasabot sa ideolohiya. Gipasabot sa mga adbokasiya (We’re trying to make you understand the philosophy, the ideology and the advocacy),” Mayor Michael Rama told his supporters.
Election results were flashed on a big screen as the host explained and asked whether the people agreed or disagreed with the consolidated results, according to observations in their own barangays.
“Generally, dili gyud molabaw si (Vice Mayor) Edgar Labella (should not overtake me) nako. Dinhi nato makita nga mas taas si Labella nako (But that’s not the case here). Dinhi nato makita na (That’s how we know) something went wrong,” said Rama.
Osmeña beat Rama with a difference of over 30,000 votes.
Councilor Gerardo Carillo said there was an average difference of 100 votes in the barangay levels when they compared the transmitted votes with the election returns.
“Ang pagpanikas didto gi-focus sa mga dagkong barangay (The cheating was concentrated in the big barangays),” said Labella.
Apparently, word got to the national level because Association of Barangay Councils president Philip Zafra said Senator Alan Peter Cayetano expressed his support for their cause through a phone call.
In response, Team Rama announced it would raise 20,000 signatures to urge the Commission on Elections to conduct a recount.
Rama alleged Osmeña committed electoral fraud.
According to the probability based on his surveys, Rama would get around 80,000 votes over Osmeña supporters and win the mayoral race.
“Basin ilang gikuha ang mga patay sa minteryo (Maybe the had the dead vote too),” Rama said.
The mayor’s team conducted 7 surveys before May 9.
Labella said the election results were “statistically improbable.”
Team Rama cited that the top 4 slates in the council were occupied by members of the Bando Osmeña Pundok Kauswagan and those who were consistently leading in the surveys found themselves struggling.
It also considered the possibility of vote switching.
Labella said some barangay captains allied with Team Rama had received threatening text messages from their rivals. – Lorraine Mitzi Ambrad, USJ-R Intern/Sun.Star Cebu/Rappler.com