Panalo talaga si Erap ! Comelec junks Lim’s poll protest

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The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has dismissed the petition filed by defeated mayoralty candidate Alfredo Lim seeking to nullify the proclamation of former President Joseph “Erap” Estrada as duly elected mayor of Manila during last May elections.

In a 14-page resolution issued by the Comelec’s First Division, the poll body held that Lim’s petition seeking to disqualify Estrada from running in the mayoralty post was filed out of time.

It also junked Lim’s claim in seeking the annulment of Estrada’s proclamation on grounds that the City Board of Canvassers (CBOC) conducted its canvass of votes illegally through manual uploading of results.

The Comelec held that Lim’s petition for disqualification based on Section 68 of the Omnibus Election Code (OEC) was filed out of time since it was filed on May 18, 2016 or eight days after his proclamation.

“When a petition for disqualification is filed before the proclamation of winners there are still candidates to disqualify. After the proclamation of winners, the parties are technically no longer candidates because the winners are already formally determined,” the Comelec ruled.

“The petition before us was filed on May 18, 2016. Estrada was proclaimed winning Mayor on May 10, 2016. Clearly, the petition was filed outside the period provided under Section 3, Rule 25 of Comelec Resolution No. 9523,” it added.

Likewise, the Comelec held that Lim failed to present evidence to prove illegal proceedings on the part of the CBOC in counting the votes.

In his petition, Lim claim that prior to the elections the Manila City government distributed over 7,000 tablet computers to public school teachers in April.

These tablets, according to Lim, were used by Board of Election Inspectors to manipulate or alter the date in the secure digital (SD) cards before surrendering them for uploading to the Consolidation and Canvassing System (CCS).

“Lim failed to substantiate his claim that the BEIs used the tablets to manipulate, alter or modify the data in the SD cards before surrendering them for uploading to the CCs,” the resolution stated.

“Although he was able to present affidavits narrating factual circumstances pertaining to the canvassing proceedings, the affiants did not categorically state that they witnessed the BEIs manipulating, altering or modifying the data in the SD cards through the tablets,” it added.#