House of Representative Electoral Tribunal to hear Tawi-Tawi congressional election protest PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 19 September 2017 16:36

By  REMUS ONG

Noted Election lawyer Quirino Esguerra yesterday disclosed that the electoral protest filed by congressional candidate Myrnal Ajihil  for the Lone District of the Province of Tawi-Tawi against incumbent Representative Ruby Sahali is expected to start next month following the approval of the House of Representative Electoral Tribunal (HRET).

Atty. Quirino Esguerra, legal counsel for the defeated congressional aspirant, said the instant case is an election protest on the grounds of massive election fraud and irregularities allegedly carried out by the incumbent congresswoman.

The election lawyer said the anomalies committed includes terrorism, intimidation and coercion ,massive vote buying, seizing and pre-shadings of ballots, prevalent substitute voting; vote shading for purposes of over voting, intentional breakdown of the vote counting machine (VCM), and the consolidation and canvassing system.

“Serious computer glitches in order to deliberately frustrate the will of the electorate and other deliberate irregularities allegedly perpetuated by the Protestee and her cohorts,” Esguerra pointed during an interview with reporters.

He said that during the congressional race for the Lone District of Tawi-tawi on the May 9, 2016 elections Sahali won over Ajihil with a margin of 3,700 votes.

The noted election lawyer said that his client Ajihil is elated because they were able to get the order to retrieve for the judicial revisions of ballot in the House of Representative Electoral Tribunal (HRET) in Quezon City.

In the 150 protest precincts were Ajihil lost to Sahali,  Esguerra said they have some evidences that various electoral fraud and irregularity were committed in those precincts.

The camp of Sahali also protested 288 precincts,  Esguerra said.

“We would like to point out that in 288 protested precincts including where they won, 96 of those were included in their counter protest.  Ajihil also protested 10 municipalities out of 11 towns in the province of Tawi-Tawi,” Esguerra said.

With the approval of the election protest, some 343 ballot boxes were ordered to be collected by the official of the HRET and thereafte will be shipped to Manila for judicial revision of ballots.

Esguerra also said that the representative of the Comelec in the House of Representatives said that their election protest is sufficient in form and in substance.

“Meaning that the allegation was validated, so we will have to prove it before them and now we were able to get the order and our petition was granted,” Atty. Esguerra emphasized.

Esguerra said the judicial recounting will start most likely early part of October to determine where fraud was present in the pilot precincts that are under protest. –Remus Ong