Comelec doubled OAV registrants

from NAMFREL Election Monitor Vol.2, No.27
Davao del Sur governor plead s to have private armies in the province disbanded

Governor Douglas Cagas of Davao del Sur revealed to the members of the media that private armies with political backing is prevalent in their province, thus placing the province under Comelec might prove to be futile to maintain order.

Cagas, who will also run as mayor of the city of Digos in 2013 stressed that the military and the police should pay more attention to help make the province more orderly, especially during elections, by pushing efforts to disband these private armies.

Jalosjos fights for right to vote

Former Zamboanga del Norte representative Romeo Jalosjos, through his counsels filed his appeal with the Regional Trial Court (RTC) after his application to become a registered voter in Zamboanga City was disapproved by the Election Registration Board (ERB), and the disapproval was upheld by the Municipal Trial Court (MTC) later on.

Jalosjos filed his registration with the Comelec office in the city, where he also intends to run as mayor in the 2013 elections.

In a report, Comelec Election Officer Joseph Ian Tria said that Jalosjos’ registration was rejected based on a provision of RA 8189, which states that “any person who has been sentenced by final judgment to suffer imprisonment of not less than one (1) year” may only reacquire their right to vote five years after he or she has served his/her sentence. Jalosjos was convicted of raping an 11-year old girl in 1996, and was released from prison in 2009 after completing his sentence.

Lanao poll protest pushed to be resolved

Losing Lanao del Sur congressional candidate Salic Dumarpa urged the House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal (HRET) to take further action on the protest case he filed against Lanao Del Sur Rep. Mohammed Hussein Pangandaman.

Dumarpa, a lawyer, appealed to the HRET to issue warrants of arrest against election officers (EO) Guibon Matanong, Tindos Baute, Mandayan Sumagayan, Aragasi Sumpingan, Amerah Hadji Sasrip, Paisal Manding and Macaombao. He said that despite the order of the HRET to Comelec to produce documents such as the Voter Registration Records (VRRs), the EOs involved “deliberately” failed to produce the same, which are needed by the HRET to resolve the protest case.

Dumarpa added that his camp has already submitted all the necessary evidence and has presented their witnesses to testify.

Comelec Cebu provincial head appealed to be transferred

The Provincial Election Supervisor (PES) of Cebu asked the Comelec main office to have him transferred from his office in the province, and emphasized that the request has nothing to do with allegations that he is favoring some candidates.

Cebu PES Lionel Marco Castillano confirmed that in a meeting with Comelec officers and supervisors on October 8, 2012, he offered himself to be transferred, after Comelec Chair Sixto Brillantes Jr. informed them that there will be a reshuffling of officers and supervisors.

Castillano also said that the reshuffling is done when an officer’s capability is needed in another area of assignment, or that officer/ supervisor has a relative who is a candidate and has submitted his/her certificate of candidacy (COC) under that office. But a month after the election, that officer/ supervisor will be assigned back to his/her office.

On October 5, 2012, a photo of Castillano posing with Cebu Rep. Pablo John Garcia when the latter filed his COC in the PES’ office came out in a local paper. In the photo, Castillano was seen smiling with Garcia and family, as Castillano raised his index finger signaling the symbol for number one.

This gesture sparked controversies, especially when Vice Gov. Agnes Magpale saw the photo and later on said that she has information about the PES’ partiality. The PES explained that the index finger was a playful gesture to comfort the representative’s son who was then crying.

Camarines Sur mayor shot dead

Mayor Raul Matamorosa, of Lupi, Camarines Sur was shot in the head by a gunman on October 27 and died at 1:20 am on October 28, 2012. Doctors at the Mother Seton Hospital where the mayor was brought were operating on him for almost eight hours, but the procedure did not save his life.

The town’s chief investigator reported that Matamorosa was shot in the back of his head as he was   getting in his vehicle. The motive of the killing is still being determined

Cabanatuan City plebiscite set

The Comelec en banc has ruled out the motion for reconsideration of the oppositors of the conversion of Cabanatuan City into a Highly Urbanized City I (HUC) and has set the plebiscite on December 1, 2012. This is in accordance with Proclamation no. 418 signed by President Aquino on July 4, 2012 which gave way to the conduct of a plebiscite to convert the city to an HUC.

High court ousts incumbent mayor

Lucena City mayor Barbara “Ruby” Talaga of Lakas-Kampi party was replaced by her Vice Mayor Roderick Talaga (Liberal) pursuant to an SC decision released on October 25, 2012. The decision affirms the decision of the Comelec annulling Talaga’s proclamation as mayor of the city. Ruby Talaga was removed from office on the basis that the candidacy of the person whom she became a substitute candidate is illegitimate.

Talaga ran as a substitute candidate for her husband, then incumbent mayor Ramon Talaga, for the 2010 elections. Ramon Talaga’s candidacy was disapproved by the Comelec for being the mayor of the city for three consecutive terms.

SC upholds case against Zambales mayor

The Supreme Court ordered the proclamation of Estela Antipolo as the new mayor of San Antonio, Zambales replacing current mayor Romeo Lonzanida after voiding his certificate of candidacy (COC). The order was based on the resolution of the Commission on Elections dated Feb 2, 2011 ordering the cancellation of Lonzanida’s certificate of candidacy. By voiding the COC of Lonzanida, the SC said that votes for him are considered stray votes. “Lonzanida’s disqualification is two-pronged. He violated three-term limit imposed by the Constitution; and as early as Dec. 1, 2009, he is known to have been convicted for 10 counts of falsification of public documents, according to the Comelec. Antipolo lost to
Lonzanida in the final tally in May 2010.

The SC has also then ordered Efren Racel Aratea, currently occupying the mayoralty post in San Antonio, Zambales, to “cease and desist from discharging the functions of the Office of the Mayor of San Antonio, Zambales."Lonzanida and Aratea garnered the highest number of votes and were respectively proclaimed as mayor and vice mayor in the the May 2010 polls. But while the case against Lonzanida was being deliberated on by the High Court, Aratea had himself declared as mayor by the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG).

(Various news sources)