Abby Binay urges Comelec to dismiss Peña's electoral protest
MANILA, Philippines – Incoming Makati mayor Abigail "Abby" Binay-Campos asked the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to dismiss the electoral protest filed against her by losing candidate Romulo "Kid" Peña Jr, the current acting mayor.
Her lawyer Claro Certeza said on Wednesday, June 1, that Peña gave the Binay camp a copy of his petition, but parts of it were different from the version submitted to the poll body. (READ: Kid Peña demands manual recount in Makati mayoral race)
"Ang nilalaman ng petisyon na ibinigay kay Mayor-elect Abby Binay ay iba sa petisyon na sinumite sa Comelec. Ito ay maliwanag na tangkang linlangin ang kampo ni Mayor-elect Abby Binay upang hindi nito masagot ang mga paratang laban sa kanya," said Certeza.
(The contents of the petition given to Mayor-elect Abby Binay were different from the one submitted to the Comelec. It's clear that there was an attempt to mislead the camp of Mayor-elect Abby Binay so that she won't be able to answer the accusations against her.)
In Binay's counter-protest filed on Monday, May 30, she claimed Peña omitted the following sentences in the document sent to her camp:
"[Peña's] scheme made the Honorable Commission an unwitting accomplice in his bid to usurp the public office that [I] won," said Binay, the incumbent representative of Makati's Second District.
She added that this is a violation of Section 3, Rule 6 of Comelec Resolution No 8804, which states that electoral protest copies sent to the Comelec and to the other party must be the same version.
Certeza said that Peña's protest should also be dismissed because it violates the 2004 Rules of Notarial Practice.
"Ayon sa batas, ang isang protesta ay dapat sumpaan ng naghahain nito sa pamamagitan ng isang 'verification.' Ang petisyon ni Kid Peña ay may iisa lamang notaryo bagama't dalawa ang bersyon nito. Hindi maaari na ang dalawang dokumento ay may iisa lamang notaryo kung kaya't depektibo ang verification ng nasabing petisyon ni Kid Peña," said the lawyer.
(The law states that the person who filed the protest must undergo the "verification" process. Kid Peña's petition only has one notary even if there are two versions. This is what makes the verification of Kid Peña's petition defective.)
The Comelec proclaimed Binay 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. (VIEW: #PHVote 2016 Results)
On May 20, Peña filed his protest before the Comelec, crying electoral fraud and vote-buying.
No concrete evidence?
Binay said, however, that Peña "miserably failed" to provide detailed evidence for his accusations against her.
"A cursory examination of the protest will reveal that its allegations are nothing but sweeping generalizations, legal conclusions, speculation, and conjecture," said Binay.
"None of the allegations identify the specific acts and omissions that constitute the electoral anomaly, irregularity, or offense complained of, the persons and precincts involved, and the events that transpired in connection with such allegations of electoral anomaly, irregularity, or offense," she added.
Meanwhile, Certeza reiterated an earlier statement by Binay, who said that if anyone in Makati cheated, it would be Peña and his camp because he is the sitting mayor.
"Sari-saring pabuya ang kanyang ibinigay sa mga tao upang siya ang ihalal. Ang mga guro na nangasiwa ng eleksiyon, ang mga eskwelahan kung saan ginanap ito, at ang mga opisyales na nagmanman dito ay pawang tao ng lungsod sa ilalim ng kanyang administrasyon. Papaano niya masasabi na siya pa ang dinaya?" said Certeza.
(He gave incentives to people so that he would be elected. The teachers, the schools, and the officials who oversaw the elections were under his administration. How can he say that he was cheated?)
Makati remains a stronghold of the Binay family, with Abby already the 4th Binay to become local chief executive of the country's premier business district.
Her parents, Vice President Jejomar Binay and Elenita Sombillo-Binay, as well as her brother Junjun, all became Makati mayor.
Junjun was dismissed and perpetually barred from holding public office by the Ombudsman over the alleged overpricing of the Makati City Hall Parking Building II.
He faces criminal charges before anti-graft court Sandiganbayan. – Rappler.com
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