THERE is no decision yet on the motion for reconsideration of former Cebu Gov. Emilio Mario “Lito” Osmeña as of yesterday, but he is confident the poll body will rule anytime in his favor and will qualify him to run for senator.
Osmeña clarified yesterday that the Commission on Elections (Comelec) en banc has yet to decide on his motion for reconsideration, lest his camp is accused of being the source of the information.
He said that text messages, reports and information that the en banc has granted his motion for reconsideration have been circulating, and some people have already congratulated him for it.
Fearing a disqualification due to a technicality for preempting the en banc, Osmeña said his lawyers advised him to say in public that he did not circulate the information himself.
“There is no word yet from Comelec that I have been qualified to run for senator that is why I want to clarify that these are hearsay and it did not originate from us. Only Comelec has the authority to make an announcement. I don’t want the Comelec to think that we are preempting their decision,” he said in a phone interview yesterday.
A Comelec Manila staffer said yesterday afternoon that no decision has been given yet on Osmeña’s motion for reconsideration of the en banc’s moto propio mass denial of due course to 100 senatorial bets.
Last Dec. 15, Osmeña’s certificate of candidacy (COC) for senator was disapproved by the Comelec because he and 99 other aspiring senators “lack the capability to wage a national campaign,” the poll body’s spokesman said then.
He filed his COC as a candidate of Promdi, the party he formed to promote the development of the countryside when he ran for president in 1998.
The following day, Osmeña’s lawyers filed his motion for reconsideration, and asked the poll body why he was qualified to run for vice president and president then, but could not qualify to run for senator.
Yesterday, Osmeña said he likes to believe that his disqualification from the senatorial race is just an “honest mistake” that will be reversed by the en banc.
“I hope there will be no need to go to the Supreme Court to challenge the Comelec decision,” he said.
Osmeña said that if Comelec qualifies him to run, his initial disqualification would be a blessing in disguise because he got a lot of publicity from it.
He said that this early, there is already an overwhelming support from people from the different provinces across the country.
In Cebu City, local opposition party Kugi Uswag Sugbo’s (Kusug) spokesman said they will support Osmeña and carry him in their lineup of senatorial bets if he is declared qualified to run.
Lawyer Raymond Garcia said Osmeña’s name will appear in Kusug’s sample ballots and they will campaign for him as well.
“It appears as though there is an outpouring of support from everywhere, even in Luzon. There’s a big Promdi population not only in Cebu but in all provinces…Maybe I should be thankful because this incident really gave me a lot of publicity. At least now they came to know who I am and what I am all about,” said Osmeña.
He said that as soon as Comelec decides on his motion for reconsideration and rules in his favor, he will start printing campaign materials and distribute them all over the country.
Osmeña added that with all the available communication technology, he is ready to go on an all-out campaign when the campaign period for national positions starts on Feb. 9.