Sunday, February 14, 2010

Panlilio ousted (11,000-page Comelec ruling finds Pineda winner by 2,011 votes)


Original Story:

PAMPANGA Gov. Eduardo "Among Ed" Panlilio was unseated yesterday by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) which declared Lilia Pineda, an ally of President Arroyo, as the rightful winner in the 2007 gubernatorial race.

Panlilio said the decision was not surprising since the Second Division had repeatedly ruled against them in previous motions.

"Itong mga pattern na ganito has been leading us to think that we will not get fair treatment in this case," he told reporters.

Asked whether he is preparing to vacate his post, Panlilio said "No."

"Mayroon pa namang legal parameters available to us kung saan pwede kami umapela. What we will do is study the decision and we will move from there," said Panlilio.

In an 11,000-page decision, the Comelec Second Division said the recount showed Pineda defeating Panlilio by 2,011 votes.

Figures from the decision showed Pineda garnered 190,729 votes against Panlilio’s 188,718 votes.

The Provincial Board of Canvassers in 2007 declared Panlilio, a priest on leave, as governor as he edged Pineda by 1,147 votes.

Pineda questioned the result and accused Panlilio of massive cheating, vote-buying and harassment.

The Comelec began the recount last August.

PiNoy Lawyers, a group of volunteer lawyers tasked to protect the votes of Liberal Party presidential candidate Sen. Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III, slammed the Comelec for exhibiting an apparent bias against the Liberal Party.

"The latest decisions of the Comelec involving grassroots leaders of the Liberal Party are very disturbing, to say the least, because it will have the effect of setting back our campaign in key areas, " PiNoy Lawyers spokesperson Amor Amorado said.

"First, it was Gov. Grace Padaca of Isabela and then Bulacan Gov. Jonjon Mendoza," he pointed out.

Amorado pointed out that Padaca, Mendoza, and Panlilio won by comfortable margins but their rivals overtook them in the Comelec recount.

Amorado also expressed concern over a pending case against LP incumbent Batangas Vice Gov. Mark Leviste.

"While there appears to be a rush in decisions involving incumbent LP officials, the Comelec has been pussyfooting in our bid to declare Vitaliano Acosta of the KBL a nuisance candidate. Even if he is finally disqualified, Acosta will remain in the ballot," he said.

"We pray that this is not going to be 2004 all over again. Like in 1986, the people will not allow those with evil designs to triumph," Amorado said.

Pineda’s lawyer, George Garcia, said they will immediately file a motion for execution in order to allow his client to take over the Pampanga capitol.

Comelec gave Panlilio’s camp three days to file their motion for reconsideration before the en banc as it denied an appeal from Panlilio’s lawyer, Sixto Brillantes, for an additional five days.

Brillantes reasoned out the massive number of pages in the decision would make it impossible for them to submit a "modest" appeal.

Deputy presidential spokesman Gary Olivar said linking the administration to the Comelec decision would just be another "speculative assassination" against the government.

"It is this kind of speculative assassination of our institutions by our critics that leads to the very instability they themselves bemoan," he added

"We urge everyone to get into the habit of respecting due process whether or not we like its outcome," he said. – With Jocelyn Montemayor

Original Story:

1 comment:

  1. I hope this May 2010 elections will be fair and that the winner would truly serve with good intentions for the country.. I'm rooting for Noynoy Aquino by the way.. :)