Comelec starts recount of contested Cebu mayoral race

THE Commission on Elections (Comelec) has started reviewing the vote results being questioned by losing Cebu mayoral candidate Michael Rama.

According to Comelec Recount Committee Chairperson Atty. Michael Garcia, the recount started at 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday, June 13.

Garcia said the process will end more or less after 9 days.

"Hanggang nine days ang estimate kasi 168 ballot boxes," Garcia said.

Among the 168 precincts included in the poll protest filed by Rama against Cebu Mayor Tomas Osmeña are those in barangays Ermita, Camputhaw, Mabolo, Sambag I, T. Padilla, Basak Pardo, Basak San Nicolas, Bulacao, Guadalupe, Inayawan, Calamba, Poblacion Pardo, and Punta Princesa.

Garcia said the ballot boxes from Cebu arrived at the Comelec office "three or four weeks ago."

Once the results are out, it will be interpreted by the Comelec second division.

"Subject 'yan for determination kung sino man ang ponente. Mararaffle yan sa 2nd division," he said.

The 10 recount committees present comprised of 30 members from Comelec and 10 representatives each from Rama and Osmeña's camp.

Both legal counsels of Osmeña and Rama were also present according to Garcia.

On May 20, Rama filed an election protest against Osmeña before the Comelec Second Division.

The protest, supported by 42 barangay captains, urged the Comelec to conduct a manual ballot count of votes in 20 percent of the total 837 precincts in Cebu.

Osmeña defeated Rama in the last elections by only 34, 036 votes. (SunStar Philippines)
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