As he continued to trail behind top opponent Rep. Arthur Yap in the gubernatorial race, candidate for governor Leoncio Evasco, Jr., said on Tuesday that his camp will be filing a petition for failure of elections, alleging that the polls in the province were marred by “massive” vote buying.
Evasco, in a statement, accused the camp of his top opponent Deputy Speaker Arthur Yap—who is leading in the polls based on both partial, unofficial and partial, official countings—of vote buying in “nearly all towns” and in Tagbilaran City.
“I finally arrived at this difficult decision to instruct the Nationalist People’s Coalition-Bohol and Hugpong ng Pagbabago-Bohol to make preparations for the filing of a petition to declare a failure of elections,” Evasco said.
As of Wednesday morning, Yap was leading over Evasco wby more than 6,000 votes in the partial, official count of the Provincial Board of Canvassers.
Yap pooled 302,802 votes against Evasco’s 296,530 votes, marking a margin of 6,272 votes.
The results excluded results from three towns Tubigon, Panglao and Sagbayan. This was due to technical problems with SD (secure data) cards of two precincts from Tubigon, one from Panglao and five from Sagbayan.
According to Evasco, he will “instruct” his party, Nationalist People’s Coalition-Bohol and Hugpong ng Pagbabago-Bohol to make preparations for the filing of a petition for failure of elections.
Commission on Elections (Comelec) provincial officer Atty. Edi Aba said that it is within Evasco’s rights to file a petition.
“Iya ng katungod. Hatagan na og due course, ato ng sutahon kung unsa man g’yud ang resulta ana,” Abba said.
However, Abba noted that the it would be up to the Comelec’s central office if the petition will be approved.
Abba said that there has been no instance before wherein a failure of elections was declared in Bohol.
“Wala koy mahinumduman na dunay nasinati na action bahin sa mga ingon ini,” he added.
Evasco also acknowledged the possibility that his petition could just be junked by the Comelec.
“The Commission on Elections may or may not grant this petition. That is the least of my concerns. The more important consideration is that all those who joined me in this journey will avail of the last one legal option to right an infirmed election,” he said. (with a report from A. Doydora)