Bacolod Mayor Evelio Leonardia continued to gain more votes on the third day of the recount being conducted by the Commission on Elections in Manila yesterday.
City Legal Officer Joselito Bayatan, one of Leonardia’s legal counsels, said that out of the eight ballot boxes counted yesterday, the mayor garnered 50 votes, while former Bacolod Rep. Monico Puentevella got 41 votes based on the minutes of the Comelec.
The results were taken from the objected, strayed, rejected and claimed ballots that were counted by the Comelec, he said. Based on yesterday’s results, the mayor garnered nine more votes against Puentevella, who had filed an election protest and a motion for recount in the precincts where he lost.
The eight ballot boxes counted were from precinct nos. 248, 108, 003, 078, 023,138, 251 and 254.
Leonardia said that since Comelec has other matters to attend to and other routine duties in the office, they decided to open eight ballot boxes per day. They may be able to finish recounting the 37 ballot boxes, which is 20 percent of the 186 protested precincts, by Friday, he said.
Leonardia said their case was docketed number 81 and that most of the cases before theirs had already been revised by the Comelec.
“Based on the feedback we have received, and this was confirmed even by the chairman of the Comelec in a public statement, there were no significant changes seen at all,” he said. If there were any, these were very minimal, he added.
Leonardia said that even in the case of Bacolod, for the past three days, the general observation was there was no fraud and that the Precinct Count Optical Scan machines were accurate.
“We foresee that the most our opponents will do is make it a propaganda opportunity,” he said.
Leonardia said Puentevella went on air the other night and attacked his lawyers. He said the issue here are not the lawyers of Bacolod, but the ballot boxes.
They were there in their personal capacity – they did not spend government money and had filed for leave to be there since they are his friends - and their purpose is to preserve and protect the integrity of the results of the elections, he said.
Leonardia said “What we are giving you are the facts and the figures based on the minutes of the election committee.”
After the revision made by the Comelec, they will determine if there is justification to continue with the recount or not, he said. If the Comelec sees that the 37 precincts will have a chance of changing the result of the elections, it will continue to recount the remaining precincts. If not they will stop, he added.
During the May 2010 elections, Leonardia garnered 93,519 votes while Puentevella got 86,258 votes.*CGS