Losing Negros Occidental town mayor seeks recount of votes
NEGROS OCCIDENTAL, Philippines - The mayor of Isabela town who lost to a neophyte candidate will seek a manual recount, hoping to overturn the election results.
Mayor Joselito Malabor lost by a measly 48 votes to Irene Montilla, the widow of the late former town mayor Enrique Montilla III.
Malabor garnered 13,844 votes, while Irene secured 13,892. The town had more than 40,000 registered voters.
Irene was proclaimed winner by the local poll office early Tuesday, May 14.
But Malabor questioned the validity of the results, citing the delay in the transmission of votes. He plans to file a petition for recount next week before the La Carlota Regional Trial Court.
“I want the truth to come out,” he said.
He said the recount will involve 50 ballot boxes from 106 polling precincts. It will cost him around P1,500 per ballot box.
When sought for her reaction, Irene said Malabor has the right to seek a recount, but it might be “moot.”
“I’d like to think our computers are accurate and reliable. Because if we’re saying there’s something wrong in [the precincts here], then we’re [saying there’s a problem] in the whole system,” the mayor-elect argued.
She hopes that everyone will do their part to mend fences and overcome misgivings about the vote count. “Afterall, we have one objective - we want our town to progress. This is not a personal goal, but the town’s,” she said.
Meanwhile, the provincial office of the Commission on Elections stressed that the vote-counting machines were “very accurate.”
But filing an election protest is the right of any candidate, said Salud Milagros Villanueva, the Provincial Board of Canvassers chair.
She said that the complaint should be filed before the regional trial court, which will then decide if a recount is warranted. – Rappler.com