Comelec cancels Edu Manzano’s bid for Congressional seat
Maris Federez • May 7, 2019 • 2102
MANILA, Philippines — The Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Monday canceled the Certificate of Candidacy (CoC) of actor Edu Manzano, who is running for a congressional seat for the lone district of San Juan City.
The 15-page Comelec Second Division decision reads that the poll body has granted the petition filed by Sophia Patricia Gil, a San Juan City resident, in November 2018 which claimed that Manzano misrepresented himself by declaring that he is a Filipino citizen when he filed his CoC for the May Midterm elections.
“Respondent is not a Filipino citizen at the time he filed his COC for a member of the House of Representatives for the lone district of San Juan City,” Comelec stated in its decision released on May 6.
It added that Manzano committed false material representation of his citizenship, prompting the poll body to cancel his COC.
Comelec said Manzano failed to re-acquire his Filipino citizenship at the time that he filed his COC in October last year.
Manzano lost his Filipino citizenship when he served as a member of the United States Army from 1973 to 1977, according to Section 1-4 of the Commonwealth Act (CA) No. 63.
Comelec explained that the “C.A. No. 63 is clear and explicit in stating that by rendering service to, or accepting commission in, the armed forces of a foreign country, a Filipino will lose his Philippine citizenship.”
Manzano became Makati vice mayor in 1998. He lost, however, when he took a mayoral bid in 2001. He had also run in the vice presidential and senatorial race in 2010 and 2016, respectively.
The Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Monday (Sept. 16) asked, during the Senate budget hearing, for a P9.8-Billion budget for 2020.
The poll body said this will cover the P5.77-Billion budget for the 2020 Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections (BSKE), which they have been preparing for despite President Rodrigo Duterte’s previous statement that he wants it postponed.
Comelec said Congress has to enact a law for the postponement of the BSKE.
“Ang pakiusap namin, your honor, is sana mapabilis iyong pagpasa ng batas otherwise we have no choice but to incur some expenses preparatory expenses especially so na tali po kami ng procurement law,” said Comelec Chair Sheriff Abas.
Comelec added that should the BSKE be postponed, they request for it not to be held close to the 2022 elections.
“If postponement happens it would be preferable if it would be one year before or one year after the May 2022 (elections). So, it could be either May 2021 or May 2023,” said Commissioner Antonio Kho, Jr.
The Senate budget hearing also focused on the low voter turn-out of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in the last election.
Of the five million OFWs who are qualified to vote, only 1.8 million were registered and only 18% of which actually voted.
Comelec pointed out the inadequate information dissemination for voters and the distance of the voting centers in some countries as reasons for the low voter turn-out. (from the report of Mai Bermudez) /mbmf
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