Comelec junks Lim’s petition to disqualify Estrada from Manila poll

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Comelec junks Lim’s petition to disqualify Estrada from Manila poll
The Comelec first division says Alfredo Lim's petition was filed out of time – 8 days after Joseph Estrada had been proclaimed

MANILA, Philippines – The Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Wednesday, March 1, dismissed mayoralty candidate Alfredo Lim’s petition, which sought to void the proclamation of former President Joseph Estrada as the mayor of Manila City in the 2016 elections. 

The Comelec First Division said Lim’s petition was filed out of time – on May 18, 2016, or 8 days after the proclamation.

Comelec also junked an additional claim: that the canvass of votes by the City Board on Canvassers (CBOC) was done illegally through a manual uploading of results.

“When a petition for disqualification is filed before the proclamation of winners, there are still candidates to disqualify. After the proclamation of winners, the parties are technically no longer candidates because the winners are already formally determined,” the Comelec said.

The Comelec added Lim failed to show evidence to prove illegal proceedings with regard to the CBOC’s canvassing.

Lim, in his petition, claimed the Manila city government distributed more than 7,000 electronic tablets to public school teachers in April. Lim said the tablets were used by the Board of Election Inspectors (BEIs) to manipulate dates in secure digital (SD) cards before they were surrendered for uploading to the Consolidation and Canvassing System (CCS).

“Lim failed to substantiate his claim that the BEIs used the tablets to manipulate, alter, or modify the data in the SD cards before surrendering them for uploading to the CCS,” the resolution said. “Although he was able to present affidavits narrating factual circumstances pertaining to the canvassing proceedings, the affiants did not categorically state that they witnessed the BEIs manipulating, altering, or modifying the data in the SD cards through the tablets.”

The Comelec noted that manual uploads of results information is provided under Comelec Resolution Number 10083 as a contingency in the event of an electronic failure.

The resolution was signed by Comelec First Division presiding Commissioner Robert Lim and commissioners Luie Tito Guia and Ma. Rowena Amelia Guanzon. –

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