ILOILO – The election protest of defeated gubernatorial candidate Cong. Ferjenel Biron (4th District) won’t prosper, according to Gov. Arthur Defensor Sr. whose son and namesake Cong. Arthur “Toto” Defensor Jr. (3rd District) is the governor-elect.
Biron claimed 99,899 votes were missing or unaccounted. He asked the Commission on Elections (Comelec) for a manual recount of votes.
“Kon matuod gid man abi-abi lang, which I believe it is not, nga waay maisip ang pila ‘to ka boto, ang buot singganon kon i-sipon liwat ang 99,899 votes puro na kay Biron?” countered the governor.
Defensor Jr. defeated Biron by 87,678 votes. He garnered 479,081 votes while Biron had 391,403.
According to the elder Defensor, Biron won’t be able to surmount the governor-elect’s vote lead even through a recount.
“Ang padumdom ko lang kay Biron ang poem bala nga madamo sang damgo nga indi matabo,” said the governor.
But the congressman should not lose hope, he said, citing the experience of the late United States President Abraham Lincoln who had to suffer election defeat seven times before finally becoming president.
“So may posibilidad nga sa gihapon ma-gobernador sia sa ulihi,” said Defensor.
Biron also ran for governor against the elder Defensor in the 2013 election but lost.
Aside from the 99,899 votes that he claimed were unaccounted, Biron also cited pre-election surveys of Random Access Consultants, Inc. which showed him winning by a substantial margin of votes.
“Ang result sang survey did not anticipate sang resulta sang election,” he said. “Consistent ang survey two weeks and a week before the election kon sa diin we will win.”
Governor-elect Defensor Jr. shrugged off the election protest and said election results and pre-election surveys were two different things.
A lot of things could affect surveys, he said, and surveyed voters could always change their minds even on election day.
“Surveys are not valid grounds for election protests. Kon amo ina ang ground, the election protest will not progress,” said Defensor Jr./PN