A Philippine candidate for Senate has been declared the winner of a contested seat more than four years after the election.
Aquilino Pimentel III had been locked in a recount battle since 2007, when he lost the mid-term senatorial race to rival Juan Miguel Zubiri. He filed a fraud protest after the results, citing witness statements that fake ballots were used to favor allies of then-President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.
Zubiri resigned as senator last week saying he wanted to spare his family the ongoing controversy.
The Senate’s electoral tribunal on Thursday said the lengthy manual recount has shown Pimentel was the real winner. He is now set to be sworn in Friday in the southern province of Davao Oriental to serve out the term ending in 2013.