Atienza's electoral protest vs Lim may serve as test case, says Comelec‏

July 6, 2010 9:59 pm 

By Ferdinand G. Patinio

MANILA, July 6 – The Commission on Elections (Comelec) said that the protest case of Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim and Lito Atienza would serve as a trial case of other suits pending before the commission.

“This can actually serve as a test case for the resolution of other protest cases pending before the Comelec,” said Commissioner Gregorio Larrazabal.

On July 5, Comelec First Division approved the petition filed by Atienza, questioning the results of the mayoral race in the nation’s capital.

“The protestant has enumerated the protested precincts in his petition and has substantially specified the alleged acts or omissions constituting electoral frauds, anomalies and irregularities that were supposedly committed therein, and the same are serious enough to necessitate the opening of the ballot boxes to resolve the issues raised in the petition,” the order said.

Larrazabal said the case would be the first protest suit to be handled by them after the conduct of the automated election system (AES) in the May 10 national and local polls.

Since they used the new system, the poll body has adopted new rules in poll protest cases, where the appreciation of the official paper ballots will be done along with that of the digital images.

“Because we are automated now, you have to look at the digital image. That’s part of the revision: looking at the compact flash cards containing the digital images of the ballots,” he said.

He said all the 1,441 ballot boxes would then be deposited to the Comelec head office in Intramuros, Manila.

The poll official also said that a hearing would then be set onwards in a bid to set the details of the recount that would be conducted.

Atienza earlier filed a petition against Lim in Manila after he garnered 181,094 votes against Lim's 395,910, or a 214,816 vote margin.

In his protest filed May 17, Atienza also claimed that there were massive irregularities and errors committed in the canvassing and counting of votes. (PNA) RMA/FGP/utb


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