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Bing files election protest

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From left, lawyers Marcus Vaflor, Jireh Alimon and Dr. Chris Sorongon, spokesman for Bacolod Mayor Evelio Leonardia, during a press conference at Planta  Hotel in Bacolod City yesterday*

Bacolod Mayor Evelio Leonardia sought a manual recount of all 450 clustered precincts and further asked the Commission on Elections to declare “failure of elections” and conduct special polls in Bacolod City, due to massive vote-buying and fake voters being allowed to cast their votes that resulted to the “mysterious and unbelievable” outcome last May 9 elections.

Dr. Chris Sorongon, spokesman of Leonardia, echoed the grounds for the mayor’s complaint lodged before the central Comelec office in Manila at a press conference yesterday at the Planta Hotel in Bacolod City.

Sorongon was joined by lawyers Marcus Vaflor and Jireh Alimon.

Massive and rampant vote-buying affected the results in all of the 61 barangays and 450 clustered precincts on the weekend leading to the elections and during May 9 balloting itself, Vaflor pointed out.

“That is why our client deemed it appropriate to file the necessary complaint to know the truth with the prayer that Comelec will conduct manual recount and consequently declare failure of elections to pave the way for the holding of special polls,” Alimon pointed out.

Sorongon disclosed it was the first time that Leonardia, in his 34-year political career starting when he ran for councilor in 1988, filed an election protest.

The mayor’s complaint, filed on May 20, was docketed as Election Protest Case No. 008-2022.

“The move of Mayor Leonardia to file a complaint was in response to the people’s clamor. The people of Bacolod want to know the truth. For them, the results were unbelievable as they pointed out the longest caravan ever mounted during our opening salvo, the mammoth crowd that massed up during our miting de avance, the huge turnout of our daily campaigns and handshaking sorties and caucuses, the survey results both done internally and conducted by independent institutions on top of the achievements of the current administration and a clear platform of government,” Leonardia’s spokesperson said.

Historical, as this is the first election in the history being conducted amidst the pandemic, Sorongon, meanwhile, said “I am proud to say Mayor Bing has delivered excellently in the city’s pandemic response and vaccination program (valedictory finish as Bacolod is among the first city in the Philippines to be placed under alert level 1 – for nearly three months now) as well as able to carry out major accomplishment and reforms in the city as we are adjudged as the most livable, model city, most competitive and most business friendly city amidst the Pandemic. Mayor Bing is a hands-on, 24/7 mayor.”*

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