Binay files election protest vs Peña, casts doubt on poll credibility

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 16 2019 01:56 PM | Updated as of Jul 16 2019 02:30 PM

MANILA (UPDATE) - Former Vice President Jejomar Binay on Monday filed an election protest against Makati Rep. Kid Peña who defeated him for the post in the 2019 midterm elections.

In a 70-page electoral protest released Tuesday, Binay asked the House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal (HRET) to conduct a manual recount of ballots in 235 clustered precincts in Makati City, noting that "approximately 9,050 votes were disenfranchised to be null or misread votes."

"This election protest is not filed out of spite. It is a challenge to uncover the true will of the people, the voters of Makati City,” the protest read.

"It must be remembered and emphasized that in the present democratic system, leaders shall be determined by the plurality of votes cast by the people and not by the glitches of the VCMs (vote-counting machines)," it read.

Binay lost to Peña, a former Makati vice mayor, by around 6,000 votes, a stunning defeat for the long-time Makati leader.

The protest was filed after several Makati residents raised questions about the election results in Makati's first legislative district that covers the city's business center, said Binay, who suffered his second consecutive election loss after a failed presidential bid in 2016.

"I was flooded with questions and the people were confused," he said.

"It was also my feeling that the support of the Iglesia Ni Cristo would only ensure my victory," he said.

Binay also cited in his complaint that even President Rodrigo Duterte cast doubt on the credibility of the recent elections.

"No less than the President himself publicly stated his displeasure with the conduct of the 2019 midterm elections," the former vice president said.

"There were simply numerous reports of machine malfunction, voter disenfranchisement, and other issues pertaining to widespread fraud," he said.

Peña has yet to comment on Binay's protest.

On election day, Binay stormed to the Commission on Elections headquarters in Pasay City after his ballot was rejected multiple times by a vote-counting machine.

The vice president's ballot was eventually accepted by the vote-counting machine.

The Comelec attributed the glitch to low-quality SD cards and aging machines.