- Losing senatorial bet Sergio Osmeña III accuses a group called ‘Garci boys’ of widespread cheating in polls
- The veteran lawmaker revealed he was earlier offered by a Comelec insider to pad his numbers at a cost of P10 each vote
- However, Osmeña said he has no plan to file an election protest
MANILA, Philippines – Losing senatorial candidate Sergio “Serge” Osmeña III has claimed of ‘widespread cheating’ in the recently-concluded national election allegedly perpetrated by the so-called ‘Garci boys’.
Osmeña was, of course, referring to the former Commission on Election (Comelec) commissioner Virgilio Garcillano who was accused of manipulating the 2004 national election results in favor of ex-President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
The Visayan lawmaker placed 14th in the Commission on Election’s (Comelec) final and official tally with 12,670,615, or more than 1.4 million votes behind 12th placer Leila De Lima and more than 140,000 votes behind 13th placer Francis Tolentino.
Osmeña revealed he was earlier offered by a Comelec insider to add numbers to his votes for P10 each, but refused the offer. He claimed the operators belong to a group he called “Garci boys”.
The veteran senator said he was surprised that he ranked well within the ‘Magic 12’ in surveys leading to the May 9 election but only placed 14th in the final tabulation.
However, Osmeña told ABS-CBN News he has no plan to file an election protest to contest the poll result as it would be very difficult to gather evidence since the massive cheating took place in many provinces nationwide.
Osmeña added he will be retiring from public life and has no intention to seek any appointive post even as he is finally closing his doors to a Senate comeback in the future.
Comelec proclaims ‘Magic 12’
The Comelec has proclaimed the 12 winning senatorial candidates on Thursday, May 19, after former Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) chairman and 13th placer Francis Tolentino failed to secure a temporary restraining order (TRO).
Tolentino filed a TRO before the Supreme Court on Wednesday to stop the proclamation of the 10th to 12th slot; alleging that the election results were compromised after the Smartmatic altered the script of the transparency server at the night of the counting.
However, the SC did not issue the TRO.
The 12 winning senatorial bets proclaimed by the Comelec are:
- Franklin Drilon – 18,607,391 votes
- Joel Villanueva – 18,459,222 votes
- Vicente ‘Tito’ Sotto – 17,200,371 votes
- Panfilo ‘Ping’ Lacson – 16,926,152 votes
- Richard ‘Dick’ Gordon – 16,719,322 votes
- Juan Miguel Zubiri – 16,119,165 votes
- Manny Pacquiao – 16,050,546 votes
- Francis ‘Kiko’ Pangilinan – 15,955,949 votes
- Risa Hontiveros – 15,915,213 votes
- Sherwin Gatchalian – 14,953,768 votes
- Ralph Recto, 14,271,868 votes
- Leila De Lima, 14,144,070 votes