Acting Makati mayor Romulo Peña Jr is set to file an electoral protest with the Commission on Elections (Comelec) after losing to Abigail Binay in this year’s mayoral race.
In an ambush interview with reporters, Peña said that there were irregularities with the election results.
“We are still organizing ourselves. We are collating evidence … we are given 19 days (by the Comelec) so we still have seven days. We will talk about what we will file,” said Peña as quoted by the Inquirer.
Almost a thousand of Peña’s supporters gathered at the quadrangle of the Makati City Hall on Thursday and demanded a recount, while carrying placards and shirts in support of Peña.
Peña mentioned vote-buying incidents, documents and a video that may prove tampering of the vote counting machines (VCM) as grounds for his complaint.
He added that the total number of votes for him (138,308), for Binay (154,207), and for Jimmy Jumawan (1,755) exceeded the number of actual voters in Districts 1 and 2 of Makati, which amounted to 257,313 voters.
A certain Ofelia Enriquez from Barangay Singkamas also claimed to have heard Binay say in a meeting on South Avenue, “you are in charge of the people, I am in charge of the machine.”
Joey Salgado, spokesperson for Binay, said to the Inquirer: “This is the first time I hear that the opposition has been accused of cheating. May I remind you Mr. Peña, (you) are the ones in office, not us.”
Peña’s camp is currently collating evidence so they can determine their next action.
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Abigail is the daughter of outgoing Vice President Jejomar Binay, and the sister of former Makati Mayor Jejomar Erwin “Junjun” Binay Jr., who was removed from office after corruption allegations.
Peña, who was vice-mayor at that time, acted as mayor of Makati after Junjun vacated the post.