Guardo leads in Sambag 1 recount

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Wednesday, January 15, 2014


THE contest for barangay captain of Sambag 1 is not yet over.

Based on the appreciation of votes by the Municipal Trial Court in Cities (MTCC), Ailien Guardo leads in the votes cast last Oct. 28 by 113 votes.

But Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama advised the Guardos not to celebrate yet.

Sambag 1 Barangay Captain Lemar Alcover was declared as the winner by just 119 votes.

“I’m happy that it has been litigated, anyone who feels aggrieved should go to court,” said Rama.

But he said Guardos’ camp should wait for the court decision.

That’s exactly what Ailien will do because the results were only based on the revisor’s physical count of the ballots.

But Alcover, son of former congressman Pastor “Jun” Alcover and brother of former
Agsungot barangay captain Pastor Alcover II, said he expected the result of Aileen’s electoral protest to be against his favor.

Denial

The Guardos have the money to alter the results, he said.

“The results were unusual because how come only one barangay councilor lost from our slate and I was dropped?” said Ailien, which was the reason her camp filed the protest.

As to the basis for the protest, Alcover said he wasn’t in the position to cheat.

“I ran as independent and they ran with the backing of Team Rama who campaigned for them. If I cheated, why did I only get one barangay councilor from my group?” he said.

Alcover said he will fight the results in court, adding that the teachers will back him up that no cheating took place.

“The barangay elections in Cebu City were generally peaceful and not a single precinct complained of any complication,” he said.

As incumbents, he said, the Guardos were in the position to cheat as Ailien’s husband Jerry was then the barangay captain.

In a related development, the court-formed revision committee will render its report on the recount of votes.

The committee yesterday wrapped up the revision of ballots before MTCC Judge Edwin Diez.

Barangay Sambag 1 has 9,318 registered voters.

In her poll protest, Ailien said votes counted for Alcover should be considered stray votes since Alcover “failed to comply with the residency requirements.”

She said Alcover filed a certificate of candidacy for mayor of Tabogon, Cebu during the local elections last May.

Allegations

“Being a candidate for an elective post in another place in Cebu Province and not Cebu City means that protestee (Alcover) is not a resident of Sambag 1 at the time he filed his certificate of candidacy for punong barangay,” she said.

“Votes that were void, because of pattern markings appearing in them, or because of other fraud and election anomalies, were unlawfully read and counted in (Alcover’s) favor,” Ailien said.

She also said Alcover employed “widespread chaos, harassment, threats and intimidation” among her supporters, leaders and coordinators during the election.

Due to the alleged threats and coercion by Alcover’s supporters, Ailien said hundreds of their political allies were forced to go home without voting.

She also accused her rival of resorting to vote-buying “in all contested precincts” in the barangay.

She also said that valid ballots were not actually voted by the registered voters, but supporters and leaders of Alcover.

“In the same vein, the scheme of pre-filled-up ballots was rampant and extensively implemented on election day in Barangay Sambag I,” she said.

Ailien, through her counsel Delon Richel Urot, had asked the court to order the recount of ballots in all 24 polling precincts.

She sought to annul Alcover’s proclamation and, after invalid votes are deducted from the incumbent captain and credited to her, to declare her as the “duly elected and rightful” captain of Barangay Sambag.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on January 15, 2014.

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