HRET takes over Durano poll protest vs Frasco for Cebu 5th district
CEBU CITY, Philippines – The House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal (HRET) has taken over the protest of Ramon H. Durano IV, ordering the Comelec to secure the election materials in several clustered precincts in the 5th District of Cebu province.
Durano is trying to unseat Franco “Duke” Frasco, the former mayor and vice mayor of Liloan, Cebu, who won the elections in May. Voting went 152,000 for Frasco against Durano's 116,000.
Frasco's victory ended 70-year stranglehold of the Durano family of Cebu province's 5th district, which includes their bailiwick of Danao City.
Frasco is married to incumbent Liloan Mayor Christina Garcia-Frasco, the daughter of Cebu governor Gwendolyn Garcia.
The HRET's issuance of summons was ordered on September 3, but only released to the media this week. Durano filed his protest in August.
Gregorio Larrazabal, Durano’s lawyer said, they asked the HRET to check alleged election fraud in certain towns in Cebu’s 5th District.
Larrazabal is a former Commission on Elections (Comelec) commissioner,
“[The] case was found to be in compliance with procedures for it to proceed,” Larrazabal said. “What that means is that it is not going to be summarily dismissed, it will have to go through the process where we’ll have to eventually check the process.”
Durano is asking for a recount all clustered precincts in Danao City, and the towns of Borbon, Carmen, Catmon, Compostela, Liloan, Pilar, Poro, San Francisco, Sogod and Tudela.
Frasco said in a text message to reporters said that he welcomed the HRET’s decision and was confident his win could withstand a recount.
“I agree with HRETs position, in fact, in my answer and counterprotest, I requested the HRET to conduct a manual recount of all precincts in the 5th District, my lead of almost 36,000 will be much more," Frasco said. – Rappler.com