Agbayani files election protest vs reelected Gov. Espino

June 24, 2010 9:56 pm 

By Leonardo V. Micua

LINGAYEN, Pangasinan, June 24 —-Outgoing Congressman Victor Agbayani has filed an election protest against reelected Governor Amado Espino Jr. before the Commission on Elections in Manila questioning the result of the election in 47 towns and cities of Pangasinan.

The election protest was filed on May 24 this year, 10 days after the proclamation of Espino by the Provincial Board of Canvassers, thus within the reglamentary period prescribed by law in initiating such action.

In reacting to the election protest, Governor Espino took the election protest lightly but said he will have to answer this as soon as he receives a copy of the protest.

Stressing that he only learned the election protest from media men, Espino said it appears that his former opponent is protesting the result in 44 towns and three cities.

However, Espino is confident that his victory will be sustained because he leads Agbayani by a big margin of 533,000 votes.

Based on the provincial canvass, Espino garnered 833.441 votes against Agbayani’s 301,049 votes or a margin of 532,329 votes.

In his election protest, a copy of which was received by the Provincial Election Office in Pangasinan this week, protestant Agbayani impugned the result due to what he said “assortment of electoral frauds and irregularities that illicitly benefited protestee Espino”.

Firstly, Agbayani cited that the percentage of voters who actually voted for Governor is abnormally high as out of the 1,211,259 voters who actually voted, there were 1,143,203 voters who did allegedly cast their votes for Governor.

This translates, he said, to approximately 94.39 percent of those who actually voted which represents the highest percentage among the provincial positions voted for in the province.

On the other hand, Agbayani said, the number of voters who actually voted for Vice Governor was only 1,011,326 or a difference of 111,121.

In his election protest, Agbayani charged that the voter’s list was padded with double registrants and non-qualified voters in the contested precincts and went on to claim illicit substitution of identity in favor of the protestee.

Agbayani prayed to the Commission on Election to revise and subject the ballot to manual recount in order to ascertain the actual votes obtained by the parties.(PNA) LOR/Lvm/lvmicua/rma

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