CEBU City Mayor Tomas Osmeña is confident that not even a recounting of ballots can turn the tables for him and former mayor Michael Rama.
This came after the Commission on Elections (Comelec) ordered the transport of the ballot boxes of the 168 pilot protested precincts in the election protest filed by Rama against Osmeña.
In an order dated April 17, the Comelec Second Division has ordered the election officers in Cebu City and the City Treasurer’s Office to make an inventory and to seal the ballot boxes involved in the protested precincts.
The order was signed by Comelec Second Division presiding commissioner Al Parreño and commissioners Arthur Lim and Sheriff Abas.
Osmeña, though, pointed out that he will still defeat Rama even after the recount.
“I’ll make a bet with Rama that he will still lose in his precincts even after the protest. He lost in the precincts of many of his own candidates. I’m such a good cheater then (if that’s the case). Let’s see,” he said.
During the May 9 elections, Osmeña defeated Rama by a margin of 34,036 votes. Osmeña earned a total of 267,222 votes compared to Rama’s 233,186 votes.
Rama reportedly lost to Osmeña in his own precincts in Barangays Basak Pardo, Basak San Nicolas, Calamba, Ermita, Inayawan and Mabolo, among others.
Rama, for his part, said he remains hopeful that the “truth will be revealed eventually.”
He said the recounting is not only “important” to him, as it also concerns defeated Vice Presidential candidate Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., who recently paid P36 million for his own poll protest.
“That (recount) will bring in a beautiful revelation. Maybe this is all part of Osmeña’s grand master plan. We’ll see (how he may have cheated). The most important thing is this recount,” Rama said.
Last May 20, the former mayor’s camp filed an election protest asking the poll body to manually count the votes cast in some precincts during the May 9 polls to verify electoral fraud.
At least 42 out of 80 village chiefs in the city signed a manifesto to support that move.