SHORTLY before one o’clock this morning, the Commission on Elections finally proclaimed Mayor Jesse Robredo and his Liberal Party slate as winners in the local elections in Naga City.

This came after a delay in the proclamation, which also saw the deployment of three truckloads of anti-riot policemen carrying long firearms at the Naga City Hall late night yesterday, due to a petition filed by losing mayoralty bet Jojo Villafuerte. The petition had asked the board of canvassers (BOC) to postpone proclaiming Robredo pending the resolution by the poll body of the disqualification case questioning his citizenship.

But Comelec registrar Maico Julia argued that Villafuerte’s disqualification case against Robredo is not a pre-proclamation issue, and as such the BOC has no jurisdiction over it.

Julia’s position led to the walkout of the other two members of the board, the Department of Education provincial superintendent and the city prosecutor, both of whom are identified with the Villafuertes. After they left, the police contingent also withdrew from the city hall premises. Julia, upon the advise of other Comelec officials, then went on with the proclamation of Robredo, Vice Mayor Gabby Bordado, and the ten winning city councilors.

In winning his third and last term as Naga mayor, Robredo garnered around 37,000 votes, posting a 26,000-vote margin over Villafuerte, barangay captain of Peñafrancia and nephew of Camarines Sur Rep. Luis Villafuerte. Robredo also won over Villafuerte in the 2004 elections, whose outcome was almost similar — Robredo getting 36,000 votes, or 70 percent of total votes cast for mayor, as against Villafuerte’s 14,000 votes (30 percent).

The Robredo ticket also extended its winning run since 1992 by scoring another sweep of local seats, with its 10th-placed candidate for councilor enjoying a lead of more than 10,000 votes against the highest-placed bet from the rival party, Kampi.

Meanwhile, the Comelec is set to hear Robredo’s disqualification case this coming Tuesday.

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May 21st, 2007 at 9:23 am

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