Jalosjos still disqualified to run for Zamboanga mayor-A A +A
Friday, February 1, 2013
JUSTICES of the Supreme Court refused to issue a temporary restraining order (TRO) on the resolution of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) stopping Romeo Jalosjos from running for mayor of Zamboanga City in the May 13 elections.
Through Resolution 9613, the Comelec said Jalosjos can no longer be a candidate for election since his conviction for raping an 11-year-old girl in 1996 includes "perpetual disqualification from holding public office."
However, Jalosjos said the order was issued without hearing his side, thus depriving him the right to due process.
Jalosjos went to the SC last January 21 to reverse the resolution but the Court in its regular session last Tuesday only decided to require Comelec to comment on the petition within 10 days.
The petition was raffled to Associate Justice Estela Perlas-Bernabe, who shall recommend to the High Court a ruling on it.
Jalosjos' lawyer Romulo Macalintal cited the cases of several nuisance candidates whom the Comelec called for a hearing before their certificates of candidacy (COC) were cancelled or denied due course.
One of them was a certain Daniel Magtira who filed his COC for senator last October and who claimed to be the husband of actress and presidential sister Kris Aquino.
Section 4, Rule 24 of the Comelec Rules provides for "an opportunity" to be heard before the COCs of these nuisance candidates are cancelled.
Macalintal said in the petition that the "motu propio" rule implemented by the Comelec "is not provided for in the Rules of the Comelec which mandatorily requires hearing and notice before any resolution could be rendered."
He said that the Comelec disregarded the provision of Section 40 of the Local Government Code, which provides that any person convicted with such accessory penalty is already qualified to run for a local elective position after two years from serving his sentence.
Jalosjos completed his sentence on December 16, 2007, thus over two years had already elapsed making him qualified to run for mayor, according to the veteran election lawyer. (Virgil Lopez/Sunnex)