The legal counsel of Bacolod Mayor Evelio Leonardia asked for the deferment of the hearing of the election protest filed against him by former mayor Monico Monico Puentevella before the Electoral Contest Adjudication Department of the Commission on Elections seeking a manual recount or audit of the ballots cast in the May 9 elections.
Bacolod City Legal Officer Joselito Bayatan said he filed a motion to defer the July 27 hearing of the case to September 28 since he only received the notice Friday.
There are voluminous documents to be prepared, like election returns, certificate of candidacy, and the audit log of the vote counting machine which will reveal as to the normal function of VCM, he said.
Bayatan said that, according to the Commission on Elections, the audit they made on these machines are 99.98 percent accurate and almost perfect.
“We will do the same as far as our VCMs here are concerned involving 392 clustered precincts. We will also ask for the audit log because this will certify the accuracy of the election returns,” he said.
Bayatan said he filed for the deferral of the hearing and asked Comelec if it is possible to reset the hearing to September 28 because of the voluminous preparation it will take.
Aside from Puentevella, his running mate and vice mayoralty candidate Vladimir Gonzalez also filed an election protest against Vice Mayor El Cid Familiaran before the ECAD.
Puentevella got 97,993 votes against Leonardia who got 120,231 votes, while Gonzalez got 86,611 votes against El Cid Familiaran who got 108,360 votes.
A similar pending case of “recount” was earlier filed before Branch 42 of the Regional Trail Court by Richard Calulut et al also seeking a manual recount or audit of the ballots cast in the May 9 elections.*CGS
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