Court junks poll protest vs Moises Padilla mayor

Sun Star Bacolod - - Front Page - BY TERESA D. ELLERA

THE Re­gional Trial Court Branch 49 has or­dered the dis­missal of the elec­tion protest filed by for­mer Moises Padilla mayor Mag­daleno Peña against cur­rent town Mayor Ella Gar­cia-yulo for the 2019 Midterm elec­tions.

In a court or­der signed by Act­ing Presiding Judge Edgar Tu­pas on Au­gust 22, it stated that the court has stud­ied Peña’s elec­tion protest dated May 23, 2019 and it has found that the same must be sum­mar­ily dis­missed, motu proprio, be­cause it is in­suf­fi­cient in form and con­tent.

In his 25-page or­der, Hon. Judge Tu­pas stated 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, these are in­suf­fi­cient in 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 Gar­ci­ayulo’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.*

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