THE Regional Trial Court Branch 49 has ordered the dismissal of the election protest filed by former Moises Padilla mayor Magdaleno Peña against incumbent Mayor Ella Garcia-Yulo.
A court order, signed by Acting Presiding Judge Edgar Tupas on August 22, stated that the court has studied Peña's election protest dating May 23, 2019 and found it insufficient in form and content, summarily dismissing it as motu proprio.
Tupas stated in his 25-page order that it is not enough for an election protest to merely allege a fraud, anomaly, or irregularity in order that the pleading can be regarded as sufficient in form and content.
According to the order, the protestant sought to substantiate his allegations of electoral fraud by including several sworn statements of Peña's poll watchers and some voters who voted for him. However, Peña's claims still lack form and content.
The order also stated that even if one is to assume that all such registered voters voted for the protestant, their votes will still be insufficient to overcome Garcia-Yulo's presumptive lead of 7,563 votes.
The court has also set a schedule on Garcia-Yulo's counterclaim for damages against Peña on September 23.
Garcia-Yulo won the midterm elections after garnering 13,056 votes against Peña's 5,493 votes.