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House tribunal upholds Daza’s midterm poll victory vs. Abayon

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By JOHN CARLO M. CAHINHINAN

The House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal (HRET) has upheld the midterm election victory of Northern Samar Rep. Paul Daza.

A December 12, 2019 resolution released by HRET secretariat last January 15 sustained Daza’s victory over former Northern Samar Rep. Harlin Abayon during the May 13, 2019 midterm elections, after the tribunal unanimously dismissed the electoral protest filed by the former lawmaker.

Daza earlier won over Abanyon with a total over-all margin of 59,685 votes.

Daza’s lawyers Napoleon Galit and Maria Bernadette Sardillo thanked HRET for an early and expeditious decision of the case.

Abayon filed an electoral protest before COMELEC and later HRET, saying the camp of Daza has resorted to massive vote-buying in Northern Samar, days before the May 13 polls.

Abayon sought to annul the results in five of the 14 municipalities of the congressional district. In the five municipalities alone, Daza had a total margin of 36,875 votes against the former congressman.

Supreme Court Associate Justice Andres Reyes, Jr. who penned the HRET resolution concurred that in by all the other members of the nine-person tribunal, junked Abayon’s protest without further proceedings “for being insufficient in form and substance.”

“The Tribunal annuls the election results in the foregoing five municipalities, after deducting the protestee’s margin of 36,875 votes from his total over-all margin of 59,685 votes, protestee will still emerge as winner by a margin of 22,810 votes,” the resolution read.

Although Abayon claimed vote-buying in the five municipalities, the HRET said he was only able to identified witnesses in only two of them.

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