He was cheated out of a win.
This was the contention of the representatives of Grupo Progreso as they revealed that incumbent Bacolod Mayor Evelio Leonardia has filed an election protest against the results of the last elections last 20 May 2022.
Leonardia had lost to former third district Cong. Alfredo Abelardo Benitez, with Benitez garnering 171,893 votes over Leonardia’s 107,447 votes.
Sorongon, in a press conference, said they seek for a declaration of a failure of elections as well as a manual recount of the votes.
He said part of the grounds for the protest is the apparent “massive vote-buying” of the Benitez-led Team Asenso claiming there were incidence of vote-buying weeks before the actual polls.
He said the team is confident that towards the end, Leonardia will be declared the winner as his decision is backed by the people.
Sorongon cites as proof the “mammoth” crowds during their campaign sorties, caucuses and rallies as he showed reporters pictures and drone shots of those crowds during their handshakings, and other gatherings.
Lawyer Marcus Aurelian Vaflor also said they have reason to believe that there were incidents where “fake voters” were allowed to cast their ballots.
They cannot say for sure about the shortcomings on the part of Comelec since the poll body and its personnel and staff usually check on the credentials of each person before they are allowed to cast their vote.
He said they have witnesses to prove their claims and they have more grounds to file for an election protest but opted not to say this in public.