NAVAL, Biliran – Lone District Rep. Rogelio J. Espina yesterday asked the people of Biliran province to unite and work hand-in-hand with him after the House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal (HRET) declared him Thursday as the real winner in the 2010 congressional elections in Biliran province.
“Hope we can all move on for unity and progress for Biliran, “Espina appealed to his supporters, leaders and constituents of Biliran after the HRET presided by Associate Justice Presbetero Velasco Jr. handed with an 8-1 votes.
Espina said he thanked the HRET that the election issue in Biliran was settled and no evidence of fraud or anomaly during the 2010 in Biliran was found.
In the February 7, 2013 HRET Case No.10-020 (EP) filed by Glenn A. Chong versus Rogelio J. Espina, protestee, the HRET said that Chong’s substantial recovery of 457 votes mainly coming from his admitted claims on PCOS machine reject ballots of 463 votes was not sufficient to regain Espina’s original lead of 361 votes considering that Espina equally garnered a large number of votes, that is 406 votes, from the admitted PCOS machine-rejected ballots or just at 40,106 for Chong and 40,401 for Espina. The Tribunal affirmed Espina’s proclamation for a seat in the House of Representatives by a lead of 295 votes or decrease of only 66 votes from his proclaimed 361 vote margin.
The Tribunal said that Chong’s failure to show a recovery of the required number of votes to win the congressional election in Biliran, the instant election protest was dismissed and the proclamation of protestee Rogelio J. Espina as the duly elected Representative of the Lone District of Biliran in the May 10, 2010 automated national and local election is confirmed.
President Benigno S. Aquino II, Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. and the Chairman of the Commission on Audit were ordered furnished of the HRET decision.
Members of the HRET who voted in favor of the decision were Associate Justices Diosdado M. Peralta, Lucas P. Bersamin, Davao Del Sur Rep. Franklin P. Bautista, Cagayan de Oro Rep. Rufus B. Rodriguez, Bulacan Rep. Joselito Andrew R. Mendoza, Laguna Rep. Justin Marc Sb. Chipeco, Manila Rep. Ma. Theresa B. Bonoan-David and Isabela Rep. Rodolfo Albano Jr. Justice Velasco Jr., HRET chairperson, made a dissenting opinion.