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Elected lady officials retain their posts

from NAMFREL Election Monitor Vol.2, No.15

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After the Commission on Elections (Comelec) served a Notice of Vacancy at the Lucena City hall, the Supreme Court (SC) issued a status quo ante order stopping Comelec to remove elected Barbara “Ruby” Talaga from the mayoral post. The Comelec on June 28 then recalled its earlier resolution ordering Talaga to vacate the post.

Last week, Comelec proclaimed and swore in Roderick Alcala as the new mayor following the poll body’s decision removing Talaga from office. Talaga’s camp however held on and elevated the case to the SC. After the  SC received comments from the Comelec on Talaga’s petition, the high court issued its order in favor of the petitioner. Talaga’s husband, former mayor Ramon Talaga, Jr. said that they received a phone call from the SC informing them of the order.

The protest filed by Roderick Alcala alleged that Barbara Talaga’s candidacy was invalid. Talaga substituted for her husband who was disqualified by Comelec to run for the May 2010 elections. Since Ramon Talaga, Jr. was disqualified, his candidacy became unofficial, hence Barbara’s candidacy was deemed illegitimate since she substituted for an unofficial candidate.

Alcala expressed that he will honor the SC’s order and will reassume his post as vice-mayor; however, his counsel said that despite the high court’s order, the Comelec’s ruling on Talaga’s ouster is still in effect until the SC issue a ruling establishing otherwise.
Meanwhile, Rep. Lucy Torres-Gomez remains the representative of the 4th district of Leyte albeit a protest filed

by losing candidate Eufrocino Codilla Jr. before the House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal (HRET) for a recount. Torres-Gomez’s counsel said that after filing the protest, Codilla no longer appeared in the hearings called by the HRET.

Codilla filed a protest against Torres-Gomez on the ground that the latter’s candidacy was invalid. In the 2010 elections, actor Richard Gomez filed his candidacy but was disqualified by the Comelec. His wife, Lucy, subsequently substituted for him. Since Gomez’s candidacy did not become official, Lucy’s candidacy was deemed unofficial since there was no official candidate to substitute for. This was Codilla’s argument in the protest that he filed.

Another losing candidate in Leyte, Silverio Tagolino, filed a quo warranto before the HRET that questioned Torres-Gomez's qualifications to sit as the representative of the district. After the protest was filed, Tagolino did not appear in any hearings set by the HRET. It was reported that Tagolino and Codilla have the same counsels. Torres-Gomez’s lawyers suspect that these protests filed against her were just nuisance suits.

(Various news sources)
 
 
 
 
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