Isabela election recount starts today

BALLOT BOXES from Isabela, Negros Occidenal are transferred to the Regional Trial Court in La Carlota City in connection with the recount petition of incumbent Mayor Joselito Malabor.(File)

By: Dolly Yasa

BACOLOD City – The court will officially start tackling today, June 19, 2019, the recount petition filed by Mayor Joselito Malabor of Isabela, Negros Occidental.

Malabor’s legal counsel Jomax Ortiz confirmed the information on Tuesday.

Ortiz said the Regional Trial Court will first form the revision committee that will handle the recount.

All proceedings will be behind closed doors and off limits to media, Ortiz said.

Malabor filed a petition for recount before the La Carlota City Regional Trial Court after he lost the May 13, 2019 elections to Dr. Irene Consunji Montilla by 48 ballots.

Malabor said he wants to clear the allegations of double transmission of votes in the SD cards of the vote counting machines.

He also stated aside from the problematic SD cards, he is also suspicious as to why even though the counting was not yet over, the local election officials allegedly rushed Montilla’s proclamation.

Based on the election returns, Montilla got 13,892 votes while Malabor garnered 13,844 ballots.

Malabor, who is the vice mayor in 2017, assumed as mayor after his predecessor and Irene’s husband, Enrique Montilla III, passed away in while in office.