SC distances from poll protest of ex-House leader’s brother-A A +A
Wednesday, October 23, 2013
THE Supreme Court (SC) left to the House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal (HRET) the discretion to resolve the election protest filed by the brother of former Deputy Speaker Erin Tañada against Quezon Representative Angelina Tan.
Voting 11-0, the SC on Tuesday dismissed the petition of Wigberto "Toby" Tañada Jr. challenging the ruling of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) that Alvin John Tañada is not a nuisance candidate.
The Court said Tan was already proclaimed winner, had taken her oath as representative of Quezon’s fourth district and assumed office on June 30, thus stopping it from resolving the protest.
“The Court is now without jurisdiction to resolve the case and the issues concerning the conduct of the canvass and the resulting proclamation of Angelina Tan are matters which fall under the sole jurisdiction of the House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal under Article VI, section 17 of the 1987 Constitution,” the SC Public Information Office said.
Tañada has a pending complaint in the HRET.
Alvin John’s certificate of candidacy was cancelled for failing to meet the residency requirement but his name was still included in the official ballots, which were printed before he was disqualified.
Tañada, who lost to Tan by 4,084 votes in the May 13 elections, questioned her proclamation before the Comelec. He said the Quezon provincial board of canvassers committed a mistake when it counted Alvin John’s votes (7,038) despite his disqualification.
He added that Alvin John’s votes should go to him since he was the lone Tañada vying for the position.
On June 28, the poll body’s Second Division granted Tañada’s protest and ordered the provincial board of canvassers to credit Alvin John’s votes to him so that he can be declared the winner.
That never happened as Tan insisted that the HRET is the proper venue for Tañada’s protest. Tañada received 80,698 votes while Tan got 84,792 votes.
Associate Justices Diosdado Peralta, Lucas Bersamin and Presbitero Velasco, whose son is also involved in the controversial congressional election in Marinduque, inhibited from the case because they are members of the HRET.
Associate Justice Mariano del Castillo was on wellness leave. (Sunnex)