Glenn Soco takes his election protest to the Supreme Court-A A +A
Sunday, September 30, 2012
FORMER vice gubernatorial candidate Glenn Soco’s motion to reconsider the dismissal of his election protest over his loss to the late Gregorio Sanchez Jr. in 2010 was denied by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) en banc for lack of merit.
But Soco said the fight is not yet over, adding that he already took his battle to the Supreme Court (SC).
“I will fight this ‘til the end,” he told Sun.Star Cebu.
His lawyer filed a petition for certiorari with prayers for a temporary restraining order before the SC last Sept. 25.
“We doubted them (Comelec). They are hell-bent on protecting their Pcos (Precinct Count Optical Scan) machine,” he said.
‘No leg to stand on’
According to the en banc decision, the Comelec Second Division was in accord with the law and prevailing jurisprudence and was sufficiently supported by the evidence on record when it dismissed Soco’s election protest.
It said that Soco’s contentions in his motion for reconsideration, dated last May 11, had “no leg to stand on and digressed from the pertinent issue whether he was able to sufficiently recover from the pilot precincts as required by Section 15 of Comelec Resolution 8804 as amended.”
It also said that Soco’s maximum possible net gain from the pilot precincts was only 844 votes, or an average net gain of 4.22 votes per precinct.
Based on the Second Division’s computation, Soco needed an average net gain of 11.53 points per precinct.
“In view thereof, it is clear that the protestant was unable to sufficiently recover from the pilot precincts,” the en banc decision said.
The Second Division’s decision stated that Soco failed to establish the merit of his election protest based on the clustered precincts he pinpointed. So it found no reason to proceed with the recount in the rest of the protested precincts.
Commissioner Lucenito Tagle said that even if the computation of Soco’s maximum possible net gain from his pilot precincts (where he was expected to get the largest gains) was to be applied to the remaining contested clustered precincts, he would only get a maximum possible gain of 9,148 votes, which would still not be enough to beat Sanchez.
Sanchez won by a margin of 26,237 votes.
In Soco’s petition for certiorari before the SC, he said the Comelec committed grave abuse of discretion on three counts.
First, it found that his protest was correctly dismissed for his failure to recover from the pilot precincts.
Second, it upheld the findings of the Second Division, which disregarded Soco’s objection to the fact that numerous ballots either lacked the BEI chair’s signature or had signatures that were different.
Third, it upheld the Second Division’s decision to refuse to consider as stray certain ballots, which were not sufficiently shaded.
When Sanchez died of cancer, then Provincial Board (PB) member Agnes Magpale assumed the post of vice governor.
This left a PB slot vacant in the fifth district, which was only filled up last week by Magpale’s son Miguel. (OCP)
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on September 30, 2012.