THE Commission on Elections (Comelec) has ruled Monday that the winners of two electoral protests cannot assume their seats just yet.

The second division of the poll body recently ruled in favor of Roberto Pagdanganan over Joselito Mendoza for the Bulacan gubernatorial post, and Benjamin Dy over Grace Padaca for the gubernatorial seat in Isabela.

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Now, the commission en banc has released its decisions on motions for execution pending appeal, resolving that cases of Dy and Pagdanganan are still set for another review.

Dy and Pagdanganan filed these cases to be allowed by the commission to assume their posts.

“The motion for execution pending appeal of Pagdanganan was denied (via split decision)... Governor Dy's motion was also denied,” Comelec Chairman Jose Melo said.

The ruling on Dy vs Padaca states that an "execution pending appeal is an extraordinary remedy, being more of the exception rather than the rule. This rule is strictly construed against the movant because courts look with disfavor upon any attempt to execute a judgment which has not acquired finality."

In the ruling of the second division, Dy won over Padaca with a slim margin of 1,051 votes.

But in the 2007 elections, Padaca defeated Dy with a 17,007 vote lead.

“On Dy's case, the reversal is very huge because 17,000 votes were not accredited to Padaca,” said Melo.

The en banc, in its decision, stated: “The fact that the Provincial Board of Canvassers and this Commission's Second Division came up with two conflicting results... shows that protestant Dy's victory in the 2007 provincial elections has not yet been clearly established.”

Furthermore, the commission decided to maintain the "status quo" and deny the instant the motion.

Last December 1, 2009, Comelec's second division decided that Pagdanganan won over Mendoza with a margin of 4,321. Melo said this decision is still being reviewed.

“They still want to study the merits because the case of Pagdanganan was delayed because of the Supreme Court,” he said. (Kathrina Alvarez/Sunnex)