Electoral Controversy Ends, New CAMNORTE Governor Installed

Sunday, March 28th, 2010

DAET, CAMARINES NORTE (26 March) - BARELY TWO MONTHS before the May polls, a dragging electoral protest since 2007 has ended at the Provincial Capitol here, with incumbent Gov. Jesus "Atoy" Typoco Jr. finally giving-up his office shortly after 5:00 P.M. on Thursday (March 25), after a "Letter of Recognition" served by DILG Bicol Director Blandino Maceda had recognized Edgardo "Egay" Tallado, as the new chief executive of the province.

Before Thursday's conclusion of the political drama at the Capitol here, Tallado's supporters had planned to enter the provincial capitol on the strength of a Supreme Court decision on the electoral protest; but Tallado said they have avoided confrontation that would have surely resulted to violence.

Since Tuesday, Typoco's supporters armed with sticks and truncheons have barricaded four major gates of the Capitol with trailers, pay-loaders, and bulldozers, while Typoco held office for the last two days hoping an earlier Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) filed with the Supreme Court will push through.

After negotiating for almost a day on Thursday, Typoco was reported to have agreed with DILG director Maceda to peacefully leave office at 5:00 P.M.

Shortly after the ringing of the Capitol bell at 5:00 P.M., Typoco using an installed loud speaker bade farewell to supporters and employees at the Capitol, appealed for non-violence and sobriety amid the political tension, and urged supporters to carry-on with the fight in the 45-day local election campaign.

Typoco is running as (Lakas Kampi)  mayoral bet in this Capital town, while he endorses Labo town Mayor Wenifredo Balce Oco (LAKAS-KAMPI-CMD) as his gubernatorial bet against Tallado (Liberty Party) and Rey Padilla (PMP).

Meanwhile at about 5:15 P.M., Tallado and his supporters entered the Capitol grounds and proceeded to the Governor's Office at the Capitol's second floor.

Tallado was further elated by supporters and allies during the Capitol take-over, when lone Congresswoman Liwayway Vinzons Chato, allied board-members and Daet Mayor Tito Sarion, showed-up in support of the newly proclaimed governor.

Tallado's spokesman and counsel, lawyer Sim Mata Jr., bared that a Supreme Court decision upheld the COMELEC First Division decision en banc in a March 16 supplemental order, recognizing Tallado as the winner of the 2007 gubernatorial race in Camarines Norte.

The supplemental order also lifted a TRO filed by Typoco's counsels since March 5, 2009 at the Supreme Court, making Tallado's winning final and executory, Mata said.

Last March 22, the new board of canvassers in Labo, the provincial board of canvassers, and COMELEC central office officials finally proclaimed Tallado, while a letter of recognition was signed by acting DILG Sec. Austere Panadero, recognizing Tallado's assumption as new governor.

Mata said that Tallado's winning in Labo town, which led to the filing for the "Petition for Correction of Manifest Error" in the election returns, was a small margin of 65 votes.

In the total recount Typoco got 79, 904 votes, while Tallado got 79, 969 votes, Mata explained. (SONNY SALES)

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