THE House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal (HRET) has ordered the Commission on Elections (Comelec) and the Cagayan de Oro City treasurer to turn over the May 2016 election records for the city's First Congressional District in connection with the protest filed by Lourdes Candy Darimbang against Congressman Rolando Uy.
The six-page order dated last June 9, and penned by Associate Justice of the Supreme Court Presbitero Velasco Jr.
The retrieval order directs the secretary of the tribunal to "immediately take the necessary steps and action for the collection of ballot boxes containing the ballots, Voters Registration Records (VRRs), Book of voters, Election Day computerized Voter's lists with voting records and other election documents and paraphernalia in the May 9, 2016 elections."
According to the order, "the allegations in the petition warrants the collection of ballot boxes containing election documents involved in the protest."
Subject of the collection are the 204 protested precincts in barangays Baikingon, Balulang, Bayabas, Besigan, Bonbon, Bulua, Canitoan, Patag, Pigsag-an, San Simon, Taglimao, Tagpangi, Tignapoloan, Tuburan, and Tumpagon.
Early this year, the local poll body and the city treasurer conducted an inventory and resealing of the said ballot boxes for the First District following the order of preservation from the HRET.
Darimbang filed her protest before the HRET last May 24, 2016 and sought for a manual recount of votes after she lost her bid against the re-electionist Uy with a difference of 5,886 votes.