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Red Durano asks HRET to void Duke Frasco’s win

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Former Cebu 5th District Representative Ramon “Red” H. Durano VI has asked the House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal (HRET) to void the proclamation of his rival, Rep. Vincent Franco “Duke” Frasco, claiming “glaring irregularities” in the May 13 mid-term polls.

Durano, through his lawyer, former Commission on Elections (Comelec) Commissioner Gregorio Larrazabal, asked the HRET to conduct a manual recount of votes cast in his district.

“According to the protest, and as will be presented during the proceedings of the case, there were glaring irregularities recorded and observed during the election day,” according to a statement distributed to reporters during a media forum in a hotel here on Tuesday.

The protest cited numerous malfunctioning of Vote Counting Machines (VCMs) which allegedly caused the “delay of not less than four (4) hours in some areas causing the disenfranchisement of voters in several areas.

The losing candidate also cited several incidents during election day when voters allegedly voted for him but complained later that “the voter’s receipts did not reflect the name of Cong. Red Durano.”

According to Durano, appreciation and counting of votes cast “is very crucial but which the poll watchers have no participation at all”.

“The manual recount of votes is the ultimate way to know the truth,” he said.

“Our leaders have urged us to push through with this case. This is about restoring integrity to our democratic institutions: that the power resides in the people’s ballot and not from the highest bidder to rig the elections,” he said.

Red’s father, Danao City Mayor Ramon “Nito” Durano III, said they took the statement of President Rodrigo Duterte issued after the 2019 elections about Smartmatic as marching order and substantiated it through an actual case.

The protest, the mayor said, shall in a way prove that the President is speaking the truth.

“The math could have been simple; we won in 9 out of 11 municipalities. In the entire Camotes Islands, their (Frasco’s) campmanaged to secure just one councilorial post only,” Mayor Durano said in the same statement.

Mayor Durano is the current chair of the Cebu-based local party, Barug Alang sa Kauswagan ug Demokrasya (BAKUD).

The young Durano vowed “to see this case through, be it a year or a decade,” stressing that he will seek for the truth.

The 5th District of the province of Cebu comprises the city of Danao and the municipalities of Borbon, Carmen, Catmon, Compostela, Liloan, and Sogod in the mainland Cebu, and Pilar, Poro, San Francisco, and Tudela in the islands of Camotes. It has a population of 558,548 in 2015 census.

The district has been known to be a “Durano country” since the 8th Congress in 1987 until the May 13, 2019 polls when a non-Durano got elected as congressman.

From 1987 to 2013, a Durano who won the congressional elections had served for the full term.

Mayo Durano was replaced by his son, Joseph Felix Mari “Ace” Durano in 1998, but the latter gave up his congressional seat for an appointment as Tourism Secretary by then President Gloria Arroyo in 2005, and Red, who took over Ace’s seat in congress, served only until 2013, as Ace sought again for election to become a member of the 16th Congress.

In 2016, Red made a comeback as the district representative to the 17th Congress. However, he served only a term as Frasco emerged victorious in the last May 13 elections. (PNA)