Supreme Court votes to oust Lucy Torres-A A +A
Wednesday, March 20, 2013
BARELY two months before the May 2013 elections, the Supreme Court (SC) en banc unseated Lucy Torres-Gomez as representative of Leyte’s fourth district.
In a decision released Tuesday by the SC and voting 7-4-4, it said that Torres-Gomez was never a “valid substitute” to her husband whose being a non-resident of Ormoc was earlier upheld by the Commission on Elections (Comelec).
“Thus, absent valid substitution, Ms. Torres-Gomez could not have been considered a candidate,” the SC ruling stated.
Seven associate justices voted for Torres-Gomez ouster, four dissented, and four others abstained.
Torres-Gomez, a commercial model and television show host, ran during the May 2010 elections as a substitute candidate to her actor-husband who was disqualified due to his failure to comply with the residency requirement.
The ousted lawmaker could not be reached for her reaction on this Supreme Court ruling as of posting.
Torres-Gomez is running in this year’s midterm elections for the same post she held for almost three years.
Her husband, Richard, is also a candidate seeking for mayoralty post in Ormoc.
The couple belongs to the ruling party of President Benigno Aquino III’s Liberal Party (LP).
During the May 2010 elections, Torres-Gomez ran and won against Eufrocino Codilla Jr. where she garnered 101,250 votes against Codilla’s 76,549 votes or a difference of more than 24,000 votes.
The petition to oust Torres-Gomez was filed by Codilla Jr.
In this year’s elections, the 38-year-old Torres-Gomez is to face third-termer Ormoc Mayor Eric Codilla, brother of her old political foe.
Aside from Ormoc City, the fourth district of Leyte covers the towns of Kananga, Merida, Palompon, Isabel, Matag-ob, and Albuera.
Earlier, the House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal (HRET) dismissed the petition against Torres-Gomez.
The Comelec earlier stated that the fourth district seat will be vacated following Torres-Gomez’s ouster and none will assume office in the remaining two months before the elections. (Leyte Samar Daily Express)