Monday, September 5, 2011

Cong. Allan Velasco's Victory Upheld

Reposted from Philstar.com

HRET upholds victory of Marinduque lawmaker

By Edu Punay The Philippine Star, Updated September 03, 2011 12:00 AM

MANILA, Philippines - The House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal (HRET) has upheld the election last year of Rep. Lord Allan Jay Velasco of the lone district of Marinduque province.

In a decision issued last Aug. 11, the HRET junked the electoral protest filed by losing congressional candidate Edmundo Reyes II against Velasco after conducting revision and appreciation of the ballots in 25 percent of the pilot protested precincts.

The tribunal, which resolves protests in the congressional polls, ruled that Velasco won over Reyes by 4,146 votes, or 39 more votes from the original margin of votes declared by the Commission on Elections.

“There was no testimony from any member of the Board of Election Inspectors of the clustered precincts nor from any watcher or voter to prop up the claim of fraud and irregularities,” the HRET said.

Velasco was proclaimed winner in Marinduque’s lone congressional seat during the May 10, 2010 elections after he garnered a total of 52,407 votes as against Reyes’ 48,300 votes.

Under HRET rules, if there is no reasonable recovery from the pilot protested precincts in favor of the protestant (Reyes), the tribunal can already dismiss the protest.

The tribunal said Reyes failed to show that the officially proclaimed election results in favor of Velasco would be substantially affected if the proceedings on the remaining contested precincts were to be continued.

It ruled out allegations of fraud, terrorism, vote buying and other irregularities alleged by Reyes in his protest.

The HRET said Reyes relied solely on the certificate of canvass and the statement of votes and the ballots to assail the integrity of the election returns.

It added that the revision of ballots failed to show any irregularity or discrepancy that would alter the results of the congressional election.

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