Bets face rap over picture with mayor-A A +A
Saturday, October 26, 2013
EIGHT candidates for the Oct. 28 barangay elections in Mandaue City are facing a disqualification case for allegedly putting campaign posters that show Mayor Jonas Cortes endorsing them.
Cortes was also named one of the respondents in the complaint of Lauro Pintor, a resident of Barangay Ibabao-Estancia.
This, as nine election officers in Cebu are being transferred in time for the barangay elections.
In his complaint, Pinto, 56, said re-electionist barangay captain Carmelino Del Mar Jr. and seven candidates for councilors hung streamers that show them posing with Cortes, their arms interlocked.
“The mayor directly engaged in partisan political activity by promoting the election of his co-respondents to public office,” read the complaint, which Pintor sent to the Commission on Elections in Manila yesterday afternoon.
Mandaue City Election Officer Anna Fleur Gujilde said the Comelec will likely decide on the case after the elections because of time constraints.
“We will follow the rule of succession. If the proclaimed winner is disqualified, the candidate who received the second highest votes will replace the winner,” she said in a phone interview.
Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes earlier warned elected officials against endorsing any candidate for barangay elections, saying the polls are non-partisan. He said officials commit an election offense when they appear in a candidate's campaign materials and activities.
Sun.Star Cebu sough the comment of Cortes but he could not be reached.
Del Mar said he does not see any violation in the streamers. He said the streamers simply showed that he and his fellow candidates are friends with the mayor.
He added that any candidate could go to the Mayor's Office and have a photo taken with the mayor.
In an earlier interview, Cortes said he would not endorse any candidate for the barangay polls, but he would welcome any candidate who would visit him in his office.
Meanwhile, Comelec 7 Director Temie Lambino told Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes in a letter that most of the transfers were made upon the request of the election officers.
“(The election officers appealed) for temporary assignments due to health and political reasons,” read Lambino's letter.
Those who will be transferred are:
• Dumanjug Election Officer Prolong Clavano, who cited an “incident” involving his election assistant and two minors. The issue was settled but Clavano asked to be transferred anyway.
• Clavano will swap places with Alcantara Election Officer Sheila Mae Dingcong.
• Santa Fe Election Officer Maria Neriza Gigante asked to be transferred because her mother, a barangay captain in the town, is seeking reelection.
• Gigante will exchange posts with Madridejos Election Officer Ma. Rena Martos.
• Liloan Election Officer Jezreel Amoguis asked for a more laidback duty on election season for health reasons. She was ordered to report to the Office of the Provincial Election Supervisor.
• Carmen Election Officer Patricia Sitoy will take Amoguis' place in Liloan.
• Sitoy's election assistant Anida Cabanes will takeover as acting election Officer of Carmen.
• Alegria Election Officer Sandra Cocon reportedly has a conflict with the local chief executive prompting her transfer to Malabuyoc.
• She will trade assignments with Malabuyoc Election Officer Joel Jomuad.
Meanwhile, Comelec Commissioner Grace Padaca is expected to be in Cebu on Sunday to observe the distribution of election materials and supplies from the City Treasurer's Office to some polling precincts.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on October 27, 2013.