PASIG CITY – Pasig City Mayor-elect Vico Sotto is seeking the dismissal of an election protest filed by his predecessor Mayor Robert “Bobby” Eusebio, local reports said.
To recall, Eusebio has formally lodged his election protest on the grounds of cheating. This, despite Sotto garnering 205,830 votes against Eusebio’s 119,222 votes.
In his 31-page answer to Eusebio’s complaint, Sotto claimed that it was “insufficient in form and content since it does not make a detailed specification of the acts or omissions complained of as required under Comelec Resolution No. 8804 in filing an election protest.”
Hence, the mayor-elect is urging the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to dismiss the case since the poll body also has the duty to uphold the sanctity of the May 13 elections.
“An election protest is allowed to ascertain, not suppress, the true will of the electorate. It is not meant to save face, to keep pride for the loser. An election protest, which is not only divisive but also disruptive of the affairs of a political unit, cannot and should never be allowed to proceed on mere belief and suspicion of a losing candidate,” he added.
Filed by his lawyers led by election lawyer Romulo Macalintal, the incoming mayor said the Supreme Court and the Comelec dismiss protests that were “too broad and general and no evidence to support these claims other than the mere affidavits of the loser’s supporters.”
Sotto in particular mentioned the 2013 case of Aguillo vs Comelec which states that an “election protest is allowed to ascertain, not suppress, the true will of the electorate. It is not meant to save face, to keep pride for the loser. An election protest which is not only divisive but also disruptive of the affairs of a political unit cannot and should never be allowed to proceed on mere belief and suspicion of a losing candidate.”
He also said that 29 clustered precincts that were missing in the statement of votes (SOV) were a mere printing error since his rival could always request for a complete copy from the city’s election officer.
“But even assuming for the sake of argument that all the votes from the 29 clustered precincts were indeed missing and 100% of the votes therein were for Eusebio, this would only amount to 20,800 votes (placed at the national average of 270 voters per precinct) and would still not be enough to subdue my overwhelming 86,500 vote-lead,” Sotto said.
“The affidavits of Eusebio’s witnesses on allegations of malfunctions of vote counting machines and defective SD cards, were obviously generated from a singular template only reworded and rephrased with font deliberately made varied, which are clearly insufficient to prove the existence of election fraud and irregularity in Pasig City,” he added.