MARIA Lourdes 'Candy' Darimbang and 1st District Representative Rolando 'Klarex' Uy's election battle is nearing its end as the House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal (HRET) is set to start the manual recount this coming November, in response to the former's electoral protest on the results of the May 2016 elections.
Two representatives of the HRET visited the City Hall this week to check the physical appearance of the ballots, which are in the safekeeping of the City Treasurer's Office.
Darimbang is requesting to recount ballots inside a total of 204 ballot boxes.
Darimbang paid over P1 million for the retrieval of these election paraphernalia, which were shipped Thursday, and are set to arrive in Manila by Monday.
In an interview, Darimbang said the recount would start immediately, and that by end of November, results would be known.
"Less than 2 weeks lang ang counting, I'm just happy nga at least paspas ang pag-act sa tribunal. We are very happy with the present administration kay swift kaayo ang action ani. The Senate President
Koko Pimentel and House Speaker Alvarez for acting without bias, because if you look at it, my opponent has the edge because he already sworn in as PDP Laban member," she said.
"If the right vote for me was taken away from me, nag-ampo mi na ma restore ug mabalik sa ako, ang I'll have the opportunity to serve the people of the city who believed and never stopped believing in my capacity. I really believe we won the last election," she said.
Earlier, Uy's camp said Darimbang failed to prove the occurrence of "general fraud", adding that the losing candidate has not submitted a single proof of cheating, such as protest in the precinct level, or affidavit of witnesses over the course of their case.
But Darimbang refuted this claim, saying he has mounts of evidences and proof that she was cheated.
"Why are they saying that I don't have evidence? Remember, 6 members of the HRET favored my protest, so nakita gyud nila nga dunay irregularity, there was enough basis to go on with the manual
recount," she said.
Darimbang filed her protest before the HRET last May 24, 2016 and sought for a manual recount of votes after she lost her bid against the re-electionist Uy with a difference of 5,886 votes.
Published in the SunStar Cagayan de Oro newspaper on October 22, 2017.