The Commission on Elections en banc denied themotion filedby former Bacolod mayor Monico Punetevella seeking to lift its “entry of judgment and certificate of finality” in the election protest he filed against Bacolod Mayor Evelio Leonardia.
The Comelec en banc had earlier denied on Sept. 14, 2017 the motion for reconsideration filed by Puentevella seeking to reverse the order of the Comelec- First Division dismissing his electoral protest against Leonardia.
Puentevella filed the motion for reconsideration after his electoral protest was dismissed by the Comelec First Division on Aug. 18, 2016 for insufficiency in form and content.
Bacolod City Legal Officer Joselito Bayatan said that when Leonardia won the elections in 2016, this was confirmed by the Comelec and it sent an entry of judgment and at the same time denied the motion for reconsideration filed by Puentevella.
Bayatan said that, according to the Comelec, once the en banc has made a decision on the election,this becomes final and executory. Therefore, it is entered officially in its entry of judgment.
This confirms, therefore, the wining landslide vote of Mayor Leonardia with 120, 231 votes as against those of Puentevella which were 97,993 votes, he said.
This was a landslide margin of 22,238 votes and this was finally confirmed by the Comelec in its ruling by the en banc, Bayatan said.
According to Comelec rules, once it has ruled en banc the decision becomes a final judgment unless there is a temporary restraining order from the Supreme Court or a reversal of the order, he said.
Leonardia said it was, in the first place, statistically impossible for the machine to make a mistake to that extent.
This was just a face-saving measure of Puentevella who gave his supporters false hopes, he said.
The election protest was filed in 2016by Puentevella against Leonardia, the Board of Election Inspectors and the Bacolod City Treasurer, seeking a manual recount or audit of the ballots cast.*CGS
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