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Bulacan RTC dismisses poll protest vs Bocaue 'coin toss mayor'
A river parade in Bocaue, Bulacan. File photo
BOCAUE, Philippines (Philippine News Agency) — Many believe there was indeed “divine intervention” in the result of the May 2016 mayoralty race in this town which was decided through a coin toss after the two main rivals ended up in a tie.
This, after the election protest filed against winning coin toss Mayor Eleanor "Joni" Villanueva-Tugna was dismissed by the Regional Trial Court in Malolos City.
Tugna's victory decided through a coin toss in the May 2016 election was affirmed by RTC Branch 81 in a 21-page decision penned by presiding Judge Herminigildo Dumlao.
The court sustained Tugna's argument that complainant Jim Valerio, former Bulacan provincial administrator and chief of staff of Gov. Wilhelmino Sy-Alvarado, "failed to give a detailed description of the acts or omissions complained of as required by Sec. 10(c)(iv), Rule 2 of A.M. No. 10-4-1-SC, otherwise known as the "The 2010 Rules of Procedure for Municipal Election Contests".
The protest was filed after Valerio lost in the coin toss. He alleged that in 34 clustered precincts, "frauds and irregularities were committed in the conduct of the election and during the canvassing of the election returns".
Tugna's lawyers Romulo Macalintal and Antonio Carlos Bautista asked the court to summarily dismiss the protest for being insufficient in form and substance and for Valerio's failure to specify the supposed election anomalies.
The court said that Valerio the particular acts or omissions which amounted to fraud or irregularities in his complaint.
The court added that Valerio’s election protest "did not make mention of the individuals or parties that committed the frauds or irregularities complained of or of the voters who were disenfranchised due to the commission of the frauds or the irregularities complained of."
The mayoral election in Bocaue was decided on a coin toss — with Tugna getting 3-0 in a Best of Five toss — after both candidates got 16,694 votes each.
Bro. Eddie Villanueva, Mayor Tugna's father and a preacher, said there was “divine Intervention” in the mayoralty race in Bocaue.
He said that there was a Biblical explanation to the coin toss victory of the mayor, citing Proverbs 16:33 which says, "We may throw the dice, but the Lord determines how they fall".