By Lyka Manalo
LIPA CITY, Batangas — Lipa City Mayor Meynard Sabili has the plan to file a petition for recounting of votes after he and his wife Bernadette lost from congressional and mayoralty race.
Mayor Sabili was defeated by Congresswoman Vilma Santos-Recto on her reelection bid in the 6th district of Batangas while his wife lost to Eric Africa, Recto’s ally.
Santos-Recto won by more than 34,000 margin of votes while Africa edged by more than 1,500 against Bernadette.
Mayor Sabili has claimed that massive cheating happened during elections in Lipa.
“Nakakapagtaka yung turn out sumosobra dun sa dineclare nila nawala yung botante pati patay nakaboto siyempre titingnan natin yun, yan ang gusto ko ireview hindi naman siguro masama yung reviewhin” Sabili explained.
The city mayor has also plan to file a petition for the failure of election.
The Lipa City Police arrested eight persons Saturday night in vote buying, in exchange of eggs with a leaflet of a councilor candidate inside the trays.
Another six people including a barangay councilor were arrested while giving flyers of different candidates on election day.
All suspects were already released due to noncomplainance according to police.
“I believed (there was a failure of election) because of violence, massive cheating, massive disenfranchisement, mga kapitan nananakot eh bakit ba nananakot yun, siyempre kaya nanakot ito mag ipinaglalaban ito” Sabili said.
Sabili’s supporters gathered in front of the city hall for two days after the election to speak about their grievances and complaints they had experienced during election day.
“Ako po ay boboto, pagdating ko po doon yung aking pangalan sa may tapat ng biometrics ko ay may pirma na pero hindi pa ako nakakaboto tapos ayaw pa ako paniwalaan ng teacher” a woman said.
(I was about to cast my vote but I noticed my name was already signed but the teacher did not believe me)
She said she was allowed to vote but her vote for mayor, congressman and board member were undervote that shown in the receipt.
Speaking to his supporters, Mayor Sabili challenged lawyer Grollen Liwag, the city Comelec election officer to face him.
“Atty Liwag pagkatapos ng eleksiyong ito, iexplain mo bakit hindi nakaboto at nawawala ang pangalan ng mga kababayan ko, bakit pinaboto mo ang mga patay, magpakalalaki ka dahil kung hindi I will prosecute you personally, hinahamon kita pag hindi mo naexplain suntukan tayo” said Sabili.
(Atty Liwag, after this election, you should explain to me why my fellows did not able to vote and they were unlisted, why did you allow dead to vote? Be man enough and if not, I will prosecute you personally, I’m challenging you).
He also alleged that Liwag is related to Senator Ralph Recto’s staff and suspecting the senator was behind the election fraud.
Liwag did not throw any comment when reached by reporters but only clarified that he is not related to Recto’s staff.
Reaching for his comment Senator Recto in an interview said: “Lumang tugtugin na yun, we don’t give that any importance”.
Recto accompanied his wife on her proclamation on Thursday at the provincial capital.