Election protest will not distract work, provincial official says

May 27, 2011 12:40 am 

LINGAYEN, Pangasinan, May 26 —- An official of the provincial government assured that the election protest filed by former Governor and Congressman Victor Agbayani against reelected Governor Amado Espino Jr. will never affect the quality and amount of work of officials and employees of the province.

“This we promise,” said Provincial Administrator Rafael Baraan, wondering what drove Agbayani to file the election protest despite the fact that Governor Espino won by an unprecedented more than 532,000 votes in that election.

Not only that, Agbayani also lost to Espino in all 48 towns and cities of Pangasinan, including in Agbayani’s hometown Lingayen, the first in any gubernatorial race in the province.

The Commission on Election already scheduled the retrieval and sealing of all ballot boxes on June 1 and the collection of 199 of these on June 2 for safe delivery to the Police Provincial Office in Dagupan City for their subsequent transfer to the Comelec central office in Manila the next day.

The 199 ballot boxes from 32 towns and two cities of Pangasinan comprise only 20 percent of the total ballot boxes used in the last election.

The Comelec’s Second Division in Manila is hearing the case.

“Former Governor and Congressman Agbayani has all the right to protest against his not having won in the last election to see and determine if the 532,000 majority over which Governor Espino has won is still reversible by way of a recount,” Baraan explained.

Baraan is praying that the election protest would soon be over sooner or later.

"This is for us to proceed with the work of attending to the needs of our provincemates without unnecessary distractions," he said. (PNA) DCT/LAM/LVM/rma

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