Kid Peña demands manual recount in Makati mayoral race
MANILA, Philippines – Outgoing acting Makati Mayor Romulo “Kid” Peña Jr has asked the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to manually recount the votes for the mayoral race in his city, which he lost by more than 18,000 votes to Makati Second District Representative Abigail Binay-Campos.
Peña filed an electoral complaint at the Comelec’s main office in Intramuros, Manila on Friday, May 20.
“Ang basis [ng complaint] namin may massive vote-buying. May salaysay ‘yung mga tao dun,” said Peña, the elected vice mayor-turned-acting mayor following the suspension and eventual dismissal from office of Jejomar Erwin “Junjun” Binay Jr, Abby’s brother.
(The basis of our complaint is that there was massive vote-buying. People there have testimonies.)
Peña also said there were instances when his name did not reflect in the voting receipts after people voted for him.
According to Peña, his camp suspected electorial fraud after he lost in District 2, his supposed bailiwick.
He added that his camp even has photos and videos to prove its allegations against Abby, whose family has been at the helm of the country’s premier financial district since 1986. (VIEW: #PHVote 2016 Live Results)
The Comelec proclaimed Abby as the winner in the Makati race in the early hours of May 10. She got 160,320 votes against Peña's 142,257. Art director Jimmy Jumawan got 1,823 votes. (READ: 3 bets for Makati mayor: What do Binay, Jumawan, Peña promise?)
Abby is the fourth Binay to become Makati local chief executive, after her parents, Vice President Jejomar Binay and Elenita Sombillo-Binay; and her brother, Junjun.
Members of Peña’s camp said they would need to raise around P10 million for their appeal for a manual recount.
They have already started a “Piso Para sa Pagbabago (One Peso for Change) for Manual Recount” drive during the protests they held at the city hall quadrangle in the last two weeks.
Peña said he also started receiving checks worth P100,000 from some supporters.
“Ito ay clamor na rin ng taong-bayan (This is clamor from the people, too),” said Peña.
'Peña's camp can cheat, not ours'
As of Friday afternoon, Abby Binay said she is yet to receive a copy of the complaint.
"Sasagutin ko ito punto por punto sa sandaling makakuha na kami ng kopya (I'll answer every point of his claims once we get a copy)," she said in a statement.
She reiterated that there is no truth behind any of Peña's claims, adding that the elections in Makati was "clean and honorable."
She said the Binay camp has no means of cheating because it is Peña who is currently sitting as mayor in city hall.
"Bukod pa rito, siya ay kabilang sa administration party na may control sa buong bansa. Kung mayroong may kakayahan na bumili ng boto at mandaya, ito ay yung kampo niya," said Abby.
(Apart from this, he is also part of the administration party that is controlling the whole country. If someone has the capability to buy votes and to cheat, it's his camp.)
According to Abby, Peña's camp should just respect the decision of the people of Makati.
"Dapat tanggapin na lang niya nang maayos ang kanyang pagkatalo. Ito ay panahon para magsamasama para sa ikabubuti ng Makati," she said.
(He should accept defeat gracefully. This is the time when we should come together for the improvement of Makati.) – with a report from Paterno Esmaquel/Rappler.com
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