Padajon lawyers seek dismissal of poll protest

The battery of lawyers of Partido Padajon Surigao is all set to file a motion to dismiss before the COMELEC in a move to get rid of the poll protest filed by losing candidates from Abante Surigao. The motion will be filed in the first week of July 2010, it was learned.

Atty. Jaybe Quiñones, chief of staff of Cong. Guillermo Romarate, Jr., and Atty. Paul Jumawan, head of the legal team of Cong. Francisco Matugas, said they saw no merits in the petitions for annulment of proclamation and the election protests filed by some losing candidates from Abante Surigao in Surigao del Norte.

“Basically, their grounds were the delay of the CF cards, common papers were used in election returns, discrepancies of number of voters and there was cutting of ballots,” Atty. Quinones said.

The lawyers answered the queries of mediamen during a media interview in Tubod which was held after the oath-taking of Congressman Guillermo A. Romarate, Jr. and the municipal officials of the said town headed by solon’s daughter Mayor Cristina Hemady Romarate-Arcillas on June 28, 2010.

“Talking of the delay of CF, it was the Comelec En Banc and the Smartmatic people who were the responsible of the CF cards. Secondly, they were saying that ordinary papers were used for election results, but again, Comelec people are allowed to use the same papers and though there were no seal but it was the same paper also issued by Comelec Manila. For the record, the basis of proclamation of the noble candidates is not the election return but the transmission of the results from the precinct levels to the Municipal Board of Canvassers (MBOC) and Provincial Board of Canvassers (PBOC),” Quiñones clarified.

He disclosed they were set to file a motion to dismiss the election protest because the Comelec would have no jurisdiction in handling the said cases after the month of June would end.

For his part, Atty. Paul Jumawan claimed the petition filed by the losing candidates were all mere allegations.

“There’s no hard evidence in their petition, in my humble opinion it will not merit any annulment of proclamation and/or the election protest,” Jumawan opined.

Both lawyers said there was no integrity and credibility regarding the statements being raised not only by the out-going governor, Robert Ace Barbers, but also the other losing candidates before the congressional inquiry recently held in Manila.

In the first week of July, the said lawyers of Partido Padajon Surigao will file the said petition in the Comelec seeking for the dismissal of the said poll protest. (Roel N. Catoto, The Agusan-Surigao Enquirer)

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