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Comelec says Panlilio recount over in 38 days

Posted on: August 15, 2009

Comelec says Panlilio recount over in 38 days
August 14, 2009 19:49:00
Anna Valmero
INQUIRER.net

MANILA, Philippines—The Commission on Elections (Comelec) will finish the recount of ballots between incumbent Pampanga Governor Ed Panlilio and Lilia Pineda on September 26, an official said Friday.

Allen Francis Abaya, Comelec director for elections contests and adjudication, said the 21 revision committees will “likely finish” all 4,683 contested ballot boxes in 38 days. The recount started Wednesday.

“Each committee is expected to finish 223 ballot boxes in 38 days at a rate of revising six boxes a day,” said Abaya.

Panlilio won by a slim margin of 1,147 votes over Pineda in 2007. Pineda later filed a petition stating that votes carrying her nickname “Nanay Baby” were “misappreciated” during the counting.

In the revision of votes, the committees do an inventory of the ballot boxes against the records in the election results (ERs). Ballot will also be examined to check for irregular marks.

Results of the final recount will only be made available after a resolution is issued on the case to avoid speculations and trending of votes, said Abaya.

Commissioner Nicodemo Ferrer, who heads the en banc Second Division, said he will issue a ruling within the six-week deadline given by Comelec chairman Jose Melo.

Panlilio’s camp earlier alleged that the ballot boxes were already tampered with when these were delivered to Comelec.

But Ferrer said such allegations are “baseless” and would only be proven after the examinations of all ballots cast for Panlilio and Pineda.

“It is unfair to make allegations against Comelec without due basis, we are mandated to resolve election contests. We will issue a ruling based on evidence presented by both parties concerned, not from statements in the media,” he said.

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