MANILA -- The camp of incumbent Bulacan Governor Joselito Mendoza has been accused of committing forum shopping during the re-hearing of the electoral protest filed against him at the Commission on Elections (Comelec).

“The most important thing that came out of this hearing is that our lawyer was able to suffice that our opponent the protestee has committed forum shopping,” said protester Roberto “Obet” Pagdanganan.

Mendoza filed a motion to withdraw the resolution allowing Pagdanganan to sit as the governor of the province Thursday and one day after, went to the high court to seek its participation in the case.

Mendoza also filed a 189-page petition for certiorari before the Supreme Court (SC) to stop the commission from enforcing its resolution ordering him to vacate his gubernatorial post and declaring Pagdanganan as the rightful governor of the province.

Comelec's second division declared Pagdanganan as the winner in the 2007 gubernatorial contest in Bulacan after gaining 4,321 votes more than Mendoza. Pagdanganan obtained 342,295 votes while Mendoza got only 337,794 votes.

But the incumbent governor argued that the poll body arbitrarily invalidated 20,096 votes he got without any legal basis while only 616 votes were deducted from Pagdanganan.

Pagdanganan's lawyer George Erwin Garcia told reporters that Mendoza's camp cannot file two petitions in different bodies.

“If you file both petitions the same time, you are trying to prostitute the proceedings...If you commit forum shopping, it will cause the dismissal of the case in the Comelec and in the Supreme Court,” Garcia noted. (Kathrina Alvarez/Sunnex)