Senate Electoral Tribunal terminates Francis Tolentino’s protest vs De Lima
MANILA, Philippines – The Senate Electoral Tribunal (SET) has terminated the electoral protest of Francis Tolentino against Senator Leila de Lima in the 2016 senatorial elections.
The office of De Lima on Thursday, April 11, provided a copy of the SET’s Notice of Resolution No. 16-142 dated February 21, 2019, but released only on April 4.
“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 SET said in its 31-page resolution.
The SET also granted De Lima’s motion to make public the results of the revision and appreciation of recount proceedings covering 319,228 ballots from 654 clustered precincts that had been examined by the tribunal.
'Results negated allegations'
The SET confirmed that the results of the initial determination of the revision of pilot precincts did not show any proof of alleged irregularities or fraud in the 2016 polls that supposedly led to Tolentino's defeat in 2016.
“The results negated his allegations that pre-loaded SD cards were used or that his votes were not counted,” the tribunal said.
“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 VCMs,” it added.
De Lima’s office said that the tally of votes even resulted to an increase of 895 votes for De Lima and 702 for Tolentino – a net gain of 193 votes for the senator.
De Lima won the 12th and final spot in the 2016 Senate race, edging 13th-placer Tolentino by 1.33 million votes but the latter contested the results, claiming fraud.
Read the full SET resolution here: