Marcos election protest to proceed despite possible Cabinet position — Lawyer

admin   •   February 23, 2017   •   3905

FILE PHOTO: Former senator Bongbong Marcos

FILE PHOTO: Former Senator Bongbong Marcos

MANILA, Philippines — The resolution issued recently by the Supreme Court (SC) is a partial victory for the camp of former senator Bongbong Marcos in his election protest against Vice President Leni Robredo.

The SC sits as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET) that exercises jurisdiction over protests relating to presidential and vice presidential elections.

In its resolution, the SC allowed the protest to proceed and gave Marcos opportunity to prove his case.

His lawyer, Atty. George Erwin Garcia, now wants the high court to set the case for preliminary conference and start hearing the protest.

“What is important here is the case was not dismissed. This will proceed. We won the first battle,” said Atty. Garcia.

He also said the protest will proceed even if Marcos accepts a position in President Rodrigo Duterte’s Cabinet.

Atty. Garcia said, there had been instances in the past of protestants running for other positions. He cited the case of the late Sen. Miriam Santiago who filed a protest after losing in the presidential elections then ran for the Senate and assumed office when she won.

“The Supreme Court ruled, that is an abandonment of her election protest. But it is a different case for Marcos, because [if ever] he will accept a Cabinet position, which is appointive not elective, and therefore, that doesn’t mean he is abandoning his protest,” he said.

Meanwhile, Robledo’s camp intends to appeal the SC resolution to clarify some details and issues.

“There were issues that need to be resolved first, for example, it was not clear which municipalities will have the ballots reopened and which will not and will only have annulment [of votes],” said Atty. Romulo Macalintal, lawyer for Robredo

Marcos’ lawyer raises no issues with this but says it would be better if the case is resolved the soonest to end questions on the legitimacy of Robledo’s victory last elections.

“It would be better if the case will proceed unhindered because they are claiming that we don’t have evidence. They claim that maybe not everything we are saying were true. So it would be better if we are allowed to present our evidence and prove our case and that will only happen in the absence of their dilatory tactics,” he said. — Roderic Mendoza | UNTV News and Rescue

Comelec seeks P9.8-B budget for 2020

Maris Federez   •   September 16, 2019

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

SC overturns decision to disqualify Camarines Norte gubernatorial bet

Marje Pelayo   •   September 13, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – Voting 8-6, the Supreme Court (SC) on Tuesday (September 10) granted the petition of Camarines Norte gubernatorial candidate Edgardo Tallado who questioned his disqualification by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) in the last May 19 elections.

Tallado was allowed to run after the SC issued a Status Quo Ante Order (SQAO) following Comelec’s decision to disqualify him from the race.

The SC decision, penned by Chief Justice Lucas Bersamin, stated that the Court En Banc overturned the Comelec’s decision to disqualify Tallado to run in the gubernatorial race.

The SC Public Information Office will issue a copy of the decision through its website once they receive the official copy from the Office of the Clerk of Court En Banc.

Concurring with Bersamin were Justices Diosdado Peralta, Alexander Gesmundo, Andres Reyes Jr., Jose Reyes Jr., Amy Lazaro-Javier, Henry Jean Paul Inting and Rodil Zalameda.

Dissenting were Justice Francis Jardeleza, Antonio Carpio, Estela Perlas-Bernabe, Marvic Leonen, Alfredo Benjamin Caguioa, and Rosmari Carandang.

Comelec had disqualified Tallado to run due to what the poll body says as questionable years of service as governor of Camarines Norte, pointing out that should they grant Tallado’s certificate of candidacy, it would have already been his 4th term as governor.

The law provides that gubernatorial post is only limited to three consecutive terms.

However, Tallado took his case to the Supreme Court questioning the decision of the Comelec, insisting that he is still eligible to run for the May 2019 polls as he was suspended from office in 2015 and was reinstated only in 2018.

Tallado won as the governor of Camarines Norte after garnering 149,002 votes against his rival Cathy Barcelona-Reyes who had 104,635 votes.

Comelec has yet to comment on the matter as it yet to receive a copy of the SC decision. — Marje Pelayo

Comelec junks poll protest vs Pasig Mayor Vico Sotto

Aileen Cerrudo   •   September 2, 2019

Former Pasig City Mayor Bobby Eusebio (left) and incumbent Mayor Vico Sotto (right)

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has junked the poll protest of former Pasig Mayor Robert “Bobby” Eusebio against incumbent mayor Vico Sotto.

Based on the decision of Comelec 2nd Division promulgated last August 30, the said protest is “insufficient in form and substance.”

“Protestant failed to provide a detailed specification of the acts or omissions complained of showing the electoral frauds, anomalies or irregularities in the protested precincts as required by Section 7(g) Rule 6 of Comelec Resolution no. 8804,” the decision states.

The Comelec 2nd Division said Eusebio’s party was not able to provide enough evidence that there was an anomaly during the Pasig City mayoral race last May.

READ: Sotto, Zamora, Moreno topple giants; make history in PH politics

Sotto had 86,500 more votes than Eusebio, ending his 37-year reign as the mayor of Pasig City.—AAC (with reports from Aiko Miguel)

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