SC asked to nullify proclamation of winning senators in 2013

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Monday, March 31, 2014

FOUR defeated senatorial candidates asked the Supreme Court (SC) on Monday to nullify the proclamation of 12 winning candidates in last year's midterm elections due to alleged inaccuracies in the canvassing of results.

Petitioners Rizalito David, Baldomero Falcone, Ricardo Penson and Hans Christian Señeres said the Commission on Elections (Comelec), sitting as the National Board of Canvassers (NBOC), made a premature proclamation even without a finding on the total number of votes cast and the number of votes still to be canvassed.

They also called out the Comelec for not complying with Section 30 of Republic Act 8346 on the requirement for the authentication of electronically transmitted election results.

"This is turn would result to nullity of any proclamation of the election of any individual to the position of senator during the May 13, 2013 national and local elections," the petition read.

The petitioners said the poll body also ignored the findings of the Technical Evaluation Committee (TEC) that vertical lines found on ballot images may have changed the results.

"It appears from the findings of the TEC that there was automated 'dagdag-bawas', resulting in the proclamation of 'accidental' senators, when it concluded that lines caused 'additional votes for candidates even if there were not votes for the candidate' and 'loss of votes for candidates who received votes which were not counted because the line caused an overvote'," the petition stated.

The House independent minority bloc led by Leyte Representative Ferdinand Martin Romualdez has already asked for a legislative inquiry on the TEC report, which was prepared by private technology experts.

Administration candidates won nine of 12 seats contested, sealing President Benigno Aquino III's goal of control of the Senate and the House of Representatives. Political observers meanwhile saw the results as a validation of Aquino's reformist agenda. (Sunnex)

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