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House election tribunal upholds Lani Mercado’s 2013 win

The House of Representatives has junked the poll protest against Cavite Rep. Lani Mercado-Revilla but her celebration of complete election 2013 victory was dampened by the arrest of her husband, Senator Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr.

Mercado-Revilla was cleared from the disqualification case filed by political foe, former Bacoor City Rep. Jessie Castillo.

“We upheld Lani’s election victory a few days before the arrest warrant issued against Senator Revilla came out,” disclosed Gabriela Partylist Rep. Luzviminda Ilagan.

Ilagan is a member of the House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal. A judiciary-legislative panel headed by Supreme Court Associate Justice Tirso Velasco.

Ilagan said the tribunal has started conducting a recount of questioned ballots that are the subjects of various electoral protest. A total 31 cases were filed before it involving electoral protest and quo warranto petitions.

The electoral tribunal already dismissed the election protest filed against Ilocos Sur Rep. Ronaldo Singson after finding the complaint to have been filed “out of time”.

Singson, son of former Ilocos Sur Gov. Luis Chavit Singson, had served time for drug trafficking in a Hong Kong prison in 2011.

The conviction served as the basis of the complaint filed by lawyer Bertrand Baterina, who lost the congressional election to the young Singson.

Meanwhile, lawyer Wigberto Tanada Jr. won a round in his bid to unseat Rep. Angelina Tan, who won the congressional election contest between them in Quezon province.

Tanada disclosed that probable cause has been determined by the Manila Prosecutor’s Office in the cases filed against Alvin John Tanada, who participated in the fourth district congressional poll in Quezon.

The charges of five counts of falsification were filed against Alvin John for allegedly faking documents he submitted before the Commission on Elections for his certificate of candidacy.

Tanada had accused Alvin John of joining the elections to mislead voters because of their similar family names.

He insisted that he could win the elections if votes for Alvin John were to be counted in his favor.

In the canvass of votes, Tan received 84,782; Tanada 80,698 and Alvin John, 7,038.