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Former VP Binay files electoral protest vs Peña

Former VP Binay files electoral protest vs Peña

MANILA, Philippines — Former Vice President Jejomar Binay has lodged an electoral protest against Makati City Rep. Romulo “Kid” Peña Jr., his winning opponent in the congressional race for the financial capital’s first district, citing alleged fraud and disenfranchisement.

“The congressional contest was marred by various manifestations of fraud, anomalies, irregularities and statistical improbabilities,” said the former long-time mayor of Makati City who rose to the vice presidency in 2010.

“Approximately 9,050 votes were disenfranchised to be null/misread votes,” he added.

In an 80-page election protest dated July 15, Binay asked the House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal to order a manual recount and forensic investigation into his electoral defeat and set aside Peña’s proclamation as congressman.

He also sought his declaration as the “duly elected and rightful member of the House of Representatives.”

Narrow lead

Peña narrowly won by a lead of 5,806 votes: He obtained 71,035 votes, while Binay had 65,229.

Considering the “slim margin,” the contested votes were “crucially determinatives of the true representative of Makati’s first district,” Binay said in his protest. “As it is, the proclamation of [Peña] was based on figures plagued by mysteries.”

He contested the election results in each of the 235 clustered precincts that operated during the May 13 polls.

“During the day of the elections, there were various election irregularities and frauds, as well as rampant violations of election laws, rules and regulations as perpetrated by the protestee and his cohorts,” Binay claimed.

He cited “widespread brownouts of suspicious causes,” errors in the scanning of ballots, several cases of rejected ballots, and malfunctioning vote counting machines.

He also accused Peña’s camp of engaging in massive vote buying, saying they paid “P500 to P2,000 to voters for them to vote for their candidate or anyone else but protestant.”

Binay said he could not understand why he would lose to his rival, considering he had been endorsed by the Iglesia ni Cristo, known for bloc voting.

“Based on his track record alone, protestant was the best, most logical choice for member of the House of Representatives. Oddly, however, the electoral results … make it appear that the voters chose protestee, whose experience does not come close to that of protestant,” he said.

Fight for residents’ right

“This election protest is not for me, and it is most certainly not a balm to soothe the ache of an election lost,” Binay stressed,  adding: “It is for the right of the people of Makati City to be served by the person they rightfully voted for.”

In a text message, Peña said he respected his rival’s right to file an electoral protest.

“Our legal team shall wait for the copy of the electoral protest and answer his allegations in the proper forum,” he added.