Thursday, May 13, 2010

Cayetano’s win declared over Tiñga’s protest

Original Story:

A tear gas canister went off accidentally at the proclamation of Rep. Lani Cayetano who won over retired Supreme Court Associate Justice Dante Tiñga in Taguig City’s mayoral race.

She was delivering her speech around 4 p.m. Wednesday on the second floor of the city hall when the canister of a police security escort inadvertently dropped, causing a commotion.

“There was a loud bang and a flash. We were immediately covered by smoke,” said Mario Evangelista, a staff assistant of the Cayetanos.

Husband Senator Allan Peter, sister-in-law Senator Pia and supporters were with her at the time.

Senior Supt. Camilo Cascolan, police chief, ruled out any foul play.

He said the jostling in the overcrowded place somewhat loosened the safety pin of the tear gas canister issued to the police detail of Cayetano.

“The security was right behind the mayor-elect,” he said. “This was not a deliberate act.”

Tiñga’s election lawyer, Sixto Brillantes Jr. said he would file before the Commission on Elections a motion to annul the proclamation over the questionable results of the polls in Taguig.

He said canvassing showed Tiñga’s ticket, Kilusang Diwa ng Taguig, swept the dsitrict representative post, the vice mayor down to the councilors.

Figures showed that Tiñga obtained 93,445 votes versus Cayetano’s 95,865 tally.

Exiting Mayor Freddie Tiñga, Vice Mayor George Elias and 1st District congressional bet Arnel Cerafica all had wide margins against their opponents, said Brillantes, noting discrepancies that would be taken up with the Comelec en banc.

On Tuesday, Cayetano and Tiñga supporters massed at the canvassing center, requiring police to post an anti-riot squad for good measure.

Cascolin said the police escort assigned to the Cayetanos came from the Regional Mobile Group of the National Capital Regional Police Office.

He said several people were given first aid for smoke inhalation.

But Evangelista said the Cayetanos would have the incident investigated.

“We simply don’t believe in Colonel Cascolan’s story. Those (canisters) should be properly secured (and) shouldn’t fall off that easily,” he said. Ferdinand Fabella

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