By Ryan Ponce Pacpaco
Journal Online

BILIRAN Rep. Rogelio Espina yesterday vowed to reach out to his political opponents and strengthen ties with his supporters to hasten the province’s economic development, which is being hampered by too much politicking.

Espina, chairman of the House committee on population and family relations, made the statement ahead of the recount of the votes cast for the lone congressional district of Biliran in the May elections last year by the House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal (HRET) this Wednesday.

He said he was very confident that “the victory of the people of Biliran will be validated in this recount.”

The recount was triggered by an electoral protest filed before the HRET by defeated congressional candidate Glenn Chong, who accused him of having a secret Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS) machine that was allegedly used to rig the votes in the country’s first nationwide automated polls.

“My supporters and I are sure that our victory will be reaffirmed in this recount (by the HRET),” Espina told reporters.

“I’m reaching out to my political opponents, my critics so that we can work together. After all, we all have the same urgent cause, that is, to improve the lives of our people and jumpstart the development of this province and politicking can take a backseat,” he said.

He earlier laughed off Chong’s allegations of fraud against him, saying he found the idea of having a secret PCOS machine in his possession “ridiculous.”

Espina won by a plurality vote of 360 and was proclaimed winner by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) a day after the polls.

Comelec Regional Director Jose Nick Medros dismissed the allegations of fraud, saying if there was one, the margin of victory would have been large to discourage electoral protests.

“I’m keenly anticipating the recount, whose outcome I’m certain of, so that we in Biliran can move on and work without being hampered by noisy politicking,” Espina said. “I’m very confident the recount will validate the victory of the people of Biliran.”

He pointed out seven out of the eight mayors in the province, who won in the same elections, belong to his party. He lamented that the camp of Chong have been spreading “false and even funny” allegations in radio programs in the province just to discredit him.

Espina said his record as a governor for three consecutive terms would speak for itself.

He said he expects the recount, which would cover some 132 barangays to be brief, since the HRET has a system of recounting the ballots quickly.

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  1. Sorry to say this…. but this comment should have been delivered during the time where all our voices declaring vote rigging was still on…

    This is too late to be true…. and I hate to say this…. I can smell something fishy in here…..

    Whatever it is obviously it will be uncovered once the recount will be conducted…..

    Di ko alam kung napilitan lang or nag jujustfy na kung sakaling naisagawa na ang milagro…..Bahala na si Batman!!!!!!!


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