Lipa City, Batangas - The Comelec 2nd Division dismissed the election protest of defeated mayoral candidate Meynard Sabili against reelectionist Mayor Eric Africa for being insufficient in form and content.
In a seven-page decision released by the poll body, duly signed by Presiding Commissioner Marlon Casquejo and Commissioner Rey Dulay, it said Sabili's allegation including that the attached affidavits were all based on personal doubts, fears and assumptions and not based on records relative to the "efficiency, accuracy and reliability of the automated elections."
According to the Comelec, even the protestant himself "is not certain if indeed election frauds, irregularities and anomalies were present" during the May 9, 2022 National and Local Elections. As a result, the Comelec Second Division dismissed Sabili's election protest.
Based on the official Comelec results, Africa won as mayor of Lipa city with 138,674 votes against rival Sabili with 45,000 votes and Retired General Nestor Sanares with 6,018 votes.
Sabili's spouse, Bernadet, filed a similar protest in 2019, after losing to Africa. Their son, Francis Sabili, also filed a protest after losing his bid for a seat in the city council, placing 15th - short of almost 30,000 votes from the 12th placer.
Africa's camp welcomed the dismissal of his opponent's election protest saying it contains "unfounded and unsupported allegations that seek to annul the votes casted" in favor of him.
They said Africa's resounding victory is a historical feat having won in all 72 barangays and in all 333 precincts in Lipa City. Adding to that, all of the 12 city councilors from Africa's ticket won convincingly.
Africa, in a statement released on his official FB page on July 19 said, "This is a testament that the mandate of the people cannot be disregarded by force, lies and/or ill-motive. The will of the electorate will always be the greatest weapon of our democratic state."
"Indeed, the decision of Comelec revalidated the old Mantra - "The Truth shall Prevail”. "