LAPU-LAPU CITY, Philippines- Citing several alleged irregularities former Congressman Arturo Radaza has filed an election protest against Mayor-elect Junard “Ahong’ Chan. Atty. Zandro Ronnie Oriol, his counsel, said, that the protest has been lodged with the Comelec central office yesterday, Friday, May 24, 2019.
Among their basis were the missing Statements of Votes (SOV) of 84 clustered precincts, which according to Oriol, if accounted for would change the result of the election in favor of his client. Chan won by a margin of 19, 868 votes but Oriol contended that Radaza (66, 108) could surpass Chan (85, 976) if the SOV’s of the 84 precincts will be accounted.
“We wanted the annulment of the proclamation of Chan and we ask for a recount of votes,” Oriol said in a press conference yesterday afternoon. Radaza for his part said he would just wanted to wait for the next elections but he could not turn his back to his supporters who were surprised on the election results, insisting that they won. The people wanted to know where their votes went, the former congressman said.
“Para kanako, importante kaayo nga ang tinuoray nga tingog sa mga Oponganon maoy mopatigbabaw. Kon ako lang, bisan og dili ko makadawat kay maayo man gyud pagkadala nila, paabot na lang unta sa sunod nga eleksyon. Pero, naminaw ko sa kusog nga tingog sa mga katawhan nga nangita sa ilang boto,” Radaza said.
City councilor Harry Don Radaza, his running mate, who is also protesting his loss to Celedonio “Celsi” Sitoy said there were voters who voted for Radaza but when the receipts went out from the Vote Counting Machines (VCM), the name of Chan was the one voted.
“Those shaded for Boy Radaza, the receipts were for Ahong Chan, why was that so? It’s really in the VCM,” Harry claimed. Sought for his reaction Chan said he welcomes the protest but added it would have been better that his opponent had conceded because the result meant that the people wanted change in leadership in their local governance.
“It is his right to do so but they should have respected the will of the people. They really wanted change,” Chan told reporters in an interview. Chan said there was no cheating because had there been such, the wife of Arturo, incumbent City Mayor Paz Radaza, would have not won as a congresswoman.
The Mayor-elect said that he was even the underdog because 28 of the barangay captains supported Radaza but despite that, he won because the voters were for him. “It is just like having the public utility vehicle drivers who were for them but the passengers were for me,” Chan said in Cebuano.
The Radaza camp, however, claimed many other irregularities; pre-shaded ballots for Chan, rejected ballots for Radaza, tampered VCM’s or pre-programmed not to count votes for Radaza, among others, which they said has been substantiated by at least 46 witnesses who executed their affidavits.
In support of her husband, Mayor Radaza said, their supporters really wanted to know what happened in the last elections and the recounting of votes if the protest will be given merit will lead to the determination of who really won in the polls. The Radaza’s conducted in-house exit polls where Arturo won over Chan and Harry Don prevailed over Sitoy. /Tonton Alcos Antogop