Poll bet sues 2 teachers-A A +A
Thursday, September 20, 2012
TWO members of the Board of Elections Inspectors (BEI) in southern Cebu town of San Fernando are facing administrative charges before the Commission on Elections (Comelec)-Central Visayas for their alleged failure to account for the missing 391 unused half-torn ballots in the 2010 elections.
Former San Fernando mayor Lakambini Reluya, through her lawyer Jennie Aclan, accused public school teachers Aida Soreso and Fedilina Maraveles of violating Republic Act 8786 or the Revised General Instructions for BEI and Comelec Resolution 8739 providing general instructions for the May 2010 elections.
The 391 missing half-torn ballots account for about 30 percent of the total 1,318 unused half-torn ballots which contain the names of Reluya and incumbent mayor Antonio Canoy.
Reluya filed an election protest objecting to Canoy’s victory.
“The mere fact that the half-torn ballots are missing is prima facie evidence (that the heads of the BEIs) have been grossly negligent of their duties which constitutes an administrative offense,” Reluya said in her complaint-affidavit.
These unused ballots should have been placed in the ballot box, she said.
Reluya of the Nacionalista Party-Alayon got 14,055 votes to Canoy’s 15,329, or a margin of 1,271.
Reluya filed an election protest with the Regional Trial Court and sought a recount of the election returns from the town’s 49 clustered precincts.
Reluya alleged “widespread anomalies” had been committed by Canoy and his political allies in all clustered precincts of San Fernando.
Canoy, in his answer to the petition, asked the court to dismiss the protest.
Judge Ramon Daomilas, of the Regional Trial Court Branch 11, created the revision committee in relation to the election protest.
The revision committee, in its report, said Canoy edged out Reluya by 936 votes, at least in 10 clustered precincts representing 20 percent of the municipality’s total votes cast during the elections.
The committee said Canoy garnered 3,967 votes while Reluya, the former town mayor, had 3,031. From 10 precincts, Canoy got 3,967 votes while Reluya garnered 3,031 votes, or a difference of 936 votes.
The court ordered the election officers in San Fernando and BEI members to explain the missing torn ballots.
The BEI members said in their affidavits that the torn ballots were placed in the compartment for valid ballots of the ballot boxes after the counting of votes and announcement of results of the election.
Soreso was in charge of Clustered Precinct 27 in Barangay Panadtaran where about 160 unused ballots were missing. Maraveles, on the other hand, handled Clustered Precinct 5 in Barangay South Poblacion, where some 121 unused ballots were allegedly missing.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on September 20, 2012.