Poll commissioner assures to prioritize Malabor complaint

Mayor Joselito Malabor of Isabela, Negros Occidental

By: Dolly Yasa

BACOLOD City – Commission on Elections (Comelec) Commissioner Rowena Guanzon assured that the complaint of Mayor Joselito Malabor of Isabela, Negros Occidental will be prioritized if it reaches the poll body.

Malabor, who lost by 48 votes to Dr. Irene Montilla in the May 13, 2019 mayoral race, questioned the result and filed a petition for recount with the Regional Trial Court in La Carlota City.

The recount started June 19, 2019

A report by Aksyon Radyo cited Guanzon as saying that Comelec can issue a Temporary Restraining Order if the lead of a winning candidate is less than 10 votes.

Guanzon, who was here Thursday, also said that the Comelec has the final say in such electoral protest cases.

Earlier, lawyer Jomax Ortiz, legal counsel of Malabor, told reporters that Montilla’s lead was reduced by five votes after the initial recount in one precinct only.

Malabor’s electoral protest covered 37 voting precincts.

He added that both parties agreed to reset the June 20 recount to a later date next week.

Meanwhile, lawyer Jam Angudong, legal counsel of Montilla, told ABS-CBN that the public should not pre-empt the result of the recount to avoid escalating tension among supporters of Malabor and Montilla.