Councilor pursues recall for ex-Oro mayor

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Thursday, May 29, 2014


DESPITE the suspension of election recalls nationwide that the Commission on Elections (Comelec) ordered on April 1, Councilor Alexander Dacer said on Wednesday that he and the other barangay officials are pursuing to get more signatures to pursue their petition for recall of elections in the city on May 13, 2013.

“No one can stop us because it is our constitutional right,” Dacer said.

The suspension was ordered through Comelec Resolution 9864 after the poll body found out it does not have the funds for recall of elections in the country when its Finance Service Department of Comelec raised the funding issue of the recall process in a memorandum on March 24, 2014.

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Moreover, verification of signatures and the recall elections will be put on hold as per suspension.

Difficult

Provincial Election Supervisor III lawyer Carlito Ravelo said that filing of the petition is easy but verification of the signatures, which will be conducted by the Comelec, is difficult.

“First, there is the gathering of a certain number of signatures, the petition proper will be attached, and there is a verification of the signatories. Second, the whole thing will be submitted to the central office and they have to conduct verification of signatures. During the verification, all of those people who signed in the petition have to personally come to be verified. Third, after the findings, the central office will evaluate to see if everything has been complied with and they will set the date on the filing of candidacy, campaign period, the elections, the counting of votes and the proclamation,” Ravelo said.

He added that in most cases, petitioners would not be able to meet the one-year deadline because of the longevity and intricacy of the process.

“There are cases that some lawyers will file motions of consideration to lag the process of their client’s opposing party petitions,” he said.

Threat

Dacer, however, sees this only a threat to their current activity.

He alleged that the suspension probably came from someone influential that prompted the central office to issue it.

“I have not heard about the suspension yet, but Comelec, however, cannot stop us since this is our constitutional right to file a petition and have recall of elections against the incumbent mayor of the city, Oscar Moreno,” he said.

At present, Dacer and his supporters exceeded the number of signatures required for the petition and they are pushing former Mayor Vicente Emano to assume office, citing the loss of trust and confidence on Moreno’s competency.

“There is a list of things that he has not done yet like the Du-aw Park, the Gaston Park, the cry of these vendors who have no place to sell, and many more. We have 43,000 and Comelec only needs 41,530. That is more than 15 percent of the voting population under Republic Act 9244,” he added.

Ravelo said that filing of petitions is neither allowed within a year since the assumption of office of a particular politician, nor a year prior to the elections.

Dacer and Emano’s supporters are to file the petition in July as mandated by law.

But City Comelec election officer lawyer Aleli Ramirez said, “The resolution issued was vague. But all petitions that will be filed will not be entertained because of it.”

Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on May 29, 2014.

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