Comelec starts recount of ballots for city mayor

THE Commission on Elections (Comelec) has started reviewing the votes being questioned by former Cebu City mayor Michael Rama.

Atty. Michael Garcia, chairman of the Comelec recount committee, said the recount started at 8:30 a.m. yesterday. Garcia said the process is estimated to be done in nine days.

Hanggang nine days ang estimate kasi 168 ballot boxes (Our estimate is nine days because there are 168 ballot boxes),” he said.

Among the 168 precincts included in the poll protest filed by Rama against 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 Second Division (It will be raffled ot the Second Division),” he said. 

Present in the recount were 30 members from Comelec and 10 representatives each from the Rama and Osmeña camps.

Both legal counsels of Osmeña and Rama were also present, Garcia said.

Sought for comment, Rama called the first day of the recounting of ballots a “positive development towards the right direction.”

“We’ll just have to wait and see. We’ll always consider positive anything that will bring about what we’d like to happen. In the end, we are not in control of what is going to be the result. If it will prove what we’ve been speculating, good. If not, so be it. Thy will be done,” he told SunStar Cebu.

SunStar Cebu tried to reach Osmeña’s camp but got no response. The mayor is in Europe with some City Hall officials to discuss programs with Cebu’s sister-cities in Haarlemmermeer, Netherlands and Kortrijk, Belgium.

Rama filed an election protest against Osmeña before the poll body last May 20, 2016 after he lost in the May 9 polls.

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