Poll losers demanding recount, failure of elections in NegOcc

BACOLOD CITY, May 21 (PNA) — It’s not only one but four poll losers asking for manual recount of votes, recall of elected officials, and declaration of failure of election in some areas in Negros Occidental.

But some of the pleas of these poll losers were somehow not feasible at the moment, according to Acting Provincial Election Supervisor Lawyer Wil Arceno.

Arceno explained that an election recall, for instance, could only happen a year after the elected official takes office and not later than a year before the next election on 2016.

Arceno also said that the petition for recall must be approved or signed by 25 percent of the registered voters in the town or city.

The candidate who wanted an election recall was former Board Member Antonio Gatustalo of Himamaylan City.

Gatuslao (18,401 votes) lost to his nephew and re-elected Himamaylan City mayor Agustin Ernesto Bascon (24,427 votes).

Bascon, when reached for comment, said his uncle should rather learn how to accept his defeat and respect the will of the people.

In the municipality of La Castellana, mayoralty loser Enrico Elumba urged the Comelec to declare a failure of election in his hometown.

Elumba claimed that the election therein has low voter turnout of about 40 percent, thus, a failure.

But Arceño said a low voter turnout could not be considered as a ground for the declaration of election failure.

He also dismissed as “baseless and libelous” the allegations that there were “manipulations” of votes in the said municipality.

“It’s like saying that our BEIs, watchers, lawyers and Comelec conspired to defeat his candidacy or to favor the proclaimed candidates,” Arceño lamented.

Elumba (12,885 votes) lost to re-elected La Castellana Mayor Alberto Nicor Jr. (13,540 votes).

As to the petitions for recount, the candidates asking for it were mayoralty loser Jilson Tubillara of San Enrique and outgoing Provincial Board Member Nehimias de la Cruz, who ran for congressman in first district.

Arceno said the two candidates could file their respective petitions before the Regional Trial Court and House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal at anytime. (PNA)



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