Election protest vs de Lima terminated

Senator Leila de Lima

MANILA – The Senate Electoral Tribunal (SET) formally dismissed the electoral protest filed by Francis Tolentino against Sen. Leila de Lima over the 12th and last spot in the 2016 senatorial race.

In a resolution released recently, the SET granted Tolentino’s motion withdrawing his electoral protest against de Lima after he decided to join the 2019 midterm elections.

“The motion for withdrawal of the election protest manifests the desistance of the protestant from pursuing the case. There being no law or jurisprudence that prevents its approval, the Tribunal hereby grants the same,” the resolution read.

As part of the dismissal, the SET also made public the results of the revision and appreciation of recount proceedings covering 319,228 ballots from 654 clustered precincts that were earlier examined by the Tribunal.

SET confirmed the results of the initial determination of the concluded revision of pilot precincts in the 2016 polls that purportedly led to the defeat of Tolentino in the said elections.

The outcome of the revision and appreciation resulted to an increase of 895 votes for de Lima and only 702 for Tolentino, or a net gain of 193 votes in de Lima’s favor.

“The results negated his allegations that pre-loaded secure digital cards were used or that his votes were not counted,” SET noted.

“After conducting the [barcode matching and vote matching proceedings] on 532 clustered precincts, it was confirmed that the barcodes of the actual paper ballots correspond to the barcodes of the picture images, and that the votes appearing on the actual ballots and picture images were the votes that were counted by the vote counting machines,” it added.

Tolentino repeatedly claimed alleged fraud and irregularities as the cause of his defeat in the 2016 national and local elections. De Lima won over him by a margin of 1.33-million votes. /PN

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