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Bacolod City, Philippines Thursday, May 16, 2019
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Malabor seeks vote recount


Defeated Isabela Mayor Joselito Malabor said he will seek a manual recount on the votes in the mayoralty race.

He was defeated by a slim margin of 48 votes by neophyte candidate Irene Montilla, the widow of the late mayor Enrique Montilla.

Malabor garnered 13,844 votes compared to Montilla’s 13,892. The town has more than 40,000 registered voters.

Montilla was already proclaimed as town mayor early Tuesday at the local poll office.

But for Malabor, the results of the election seemed questionable due to the delay and discrepancies in the transmission of votes. He said he will file the petition for recount next week before the La Carlota Regional Trial Court.

He said the recount would cost him around P1,500 per ballot boxes. He added they will have 50 ballot boxes recounted from the 106 polling precincts recounted.

The mayor believes that the local court will act on the petition immediately as this is a Constitutional right in relation to the sanctity of the ballot and suffrage.

“I want a recount because I want the truth to come out,” he said.

Montilla, when sought for reaction, said Malabor has the right to seek a recount, but she thinks it might be “moot” because the election has been automated.

“I’d like to think our computers are accurate and reliable. Because if we’re saying there’s something wrong, then we’re not saying there’s something wrong in this particular precinct, but we’re trying to say the problem is in the whole system. I think it’s moot,” the mayor-elect said.

She said she is hoping that elected officials will work together as it’s time to mend fences because politics is divisive. “After all, we have one objective. We want our town to progress. This is not a personal goal, but for the town,” she added.*


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