CEBU

Bzzzzz: Will Sherwin Abella who's bringing Zafra down surface?

CEBU. Marie Velle "Amay" Abella and Phillip Zafra. (Photos from Facebook accounts of Abella and Zafra)

PEOPLE talk about...

* WHETHER THE 3 FRONT-RUNNERS WILL ACCEPT DUTERTE COALITION BET FROM DAVAO AS SPEAKER. Isidro Ungab, congressman from Davao City's third district, is being pushed by Hugpong ng Pagbabago and the "Davao Coalition," which is composed mostly of Davao House members.

* HIGHER PAY FOR COPS, MORE MISTRESSES. Data from the PNP Women and Children Protection Center say that complaints against cops who had mistresses went up from 215 in 2017 to 301 in 2018, or a surge of 40 percent.

Zafra 'didn't know' Sherwin

The "very likely" probability is that Councilor Phillip Zafra, Barug candidate who landed #8 in the Cebu City south race for councilors, will be dislodged and replaced by BOPK's Marie Velle "Amay" Abella.

Amay was only #10 but the 20,262 votes of Sherwin Luie Abella, who finished #18, will be credited to Amay's 110,090 votes and will catapult her to #8, which Zafra occupied. Zafra drew 115,292 votes but with Sherwin's add-on, she will beat Zafra by 15, 960 votes.

Zafra's problem is being brought on, apparently unforeseen and unintended, by Sherwin, an independent candidate whom the councilor said he didn't know and never met.

And Sherwin's no-response to the petition filed by Amay with Comelec in October sealed Zafra's fate. Sherwin didn't answer Comelec's November 8 notice and didn't show up at the December 1 and December 27 scheduled meetings. Comelec decided Sherwin was not serious about his candidacy after he couldn't be located, notices couldn't be served at his given address, and he snubbed summons of Comelec for a meeting with petitioner Amay.

Who is Sherwin?

Few voters must have seen Sherwin Luie Abella. Have you in Cebu City south district where he ran for councilor and got 20,000 votes?

Not a single story or photo of Sherwin is in the media archives; Google for news or images of Sherwin before the disqualification story broke; no results. A Rappler feature of candidates in the 2019 election carried one line saying he was a candidate for councilor in Cebu City's south district. The space for his photo was blank.

Most people suspected as nuisance candidates are also suspected of being put up by the aspirant or party that benefits from the running. Unavoidably, Zafra and his party Barug are suspects but there's no evidence, just suspicion or speculation.

Edilio Martinez in 2017

In Cebu's fourth district elections in 2017, one Edilio Martinez, who ran against Celestino Martinez III as congressman, was declared by Comelec and the Supreme Court as a nuisance candidate.

He bore the same surname as Benhur Salimbangon's rival, "Tining" Martinez III, spoiling his chances against Benhur. Benhur was proclaimed congressman but Martinez won in his protest, having been credited the votes that went to Edilio. But it was too late for Tining to enjoy the term he won. And to this day, the public has known very little about the nuisance candidate Edilio.

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