THE election protest of former Lapu-Lapu City lone district representative and mayoral candidate Arturo “Boy” Radaza against incumbent Mayor Junard “Ahong” Chan was dismissed by the Commission on Elections (Comlec).
In its nine-page decision dated Jan. 1, 2020, the Comelec En Banc’s 2nd Division dismissed Radaza’s protest, ruling that it was “insufficient in form and content.”
Comelec commissioners Luie Tito Guia, Socorro Inting and Antonio Kho Jr. said Radaza failed to indicate in his protest the evidence that would show there was electoral fraud, anomalies or irregularities in all 234 clustered precincts in Lapu-Lapu City during the May 13, 2019 elections.
“Protestant (Radaza) couched his allegations in general statements. His allegations of the electoral fraud, anomalies and irregularities did not specify where these irregularities took place. It would, of course, be incredulous for protestant to declare that these irregularities took place in all the 234 protested clustered precincts which comprised the whole of Lapu-Lapu City,” a portion of the Comelec decision read.
Alleged electoral fraud
Radaza claimed in his protest that the vote counting machine (VCM) malfunction, delay in the transmission of election results and buying of votes contributed to the alleged electoral fraud.
The Comelec, however, said the politician failed to accompany these accounts with detailed explanations on how these aided Chan to win the mayoralty race. It further said the affidavits provided by Radaza were considered unreliable as the persons who gave their testimonies were his poll watchers.
Radaza, who served as mayor of Lapu-Lapu City from 2001 until 2010, ran for mayor against Chan, a newcomer, but lost to Chan by close to 20,000 votes during the 2019 midterm elections. Radaza is the husband of Chan’s predecessor, now the city’s lone district representative Paz Radaza.
After the elections, Radaza filed a protest against Chan, alleging electoral fraud. He said some receipts produced by the VCMs indicated the names of the candidates that were not voted for.
On July 10, 2019, Chan, through his lawyer, filed a reply before the Comelec, answering Radaza’s allegations.
Radaza’s legal counsel Zandro Oriol refused to comment on the Comelec decision, saying they had yet to receive a copy of the decision. (GCM / JKV)