Disqualification case filed vs Magalang mayor

A CANDIDATE for councilor and two other residents in Magalang, Pampanga have filed a disqualification case against their incumbent Mayor Malu Lacson for alleged vote-buying.

Eller Pecson, a candidate for municipal councilor; Ria Lyca G. Ayuda of Barangay San Nicolas here; and Wilver T. Pasion of Santa Lucia also of said town filed the complaint against Lacson before the Commission on Elections (Comelec) on April 22.

The complainants are asking the Comelec “to disqualify Respondent Malu Lacson as candidate, or from holding office if she is elected, under Section 68 of the Omnibus Election Code.”

Section 68 of Batas Pambansa Bilang 881 or the Omnibus Election Code provides that “any candidate who, in an action or protest in which he is a party is declared by final decision of a competent court guilty of, or found by the commission of having (a) given money or other material consideration to influence, induce, or corrupt the voters or public officials performing electoral functions” will be disqualified.

Ayuda, in her affidavit, stated that she managed to enter a farm in Madapdap Resettlement Center, Mabalacat City where the vote-buying was allegedly committed around 10:30 a.m. on March 30.

According to Ayuda, she saw Lacson, who was then wearing a violet shirt with “One Magalang” logo, and other candidates for councilor under the mayor’s slate inside the farm.

She said scores of people lined up and presented their respective voters identification card on the table manned by two men and a woman. The controllers gave sample ballots and P300 each for those included in their list, according to Ayuda.

“Nakunan ko ang mga pangyayari gamit ang cell phone ko at aking na-download sa isang USB. (I was able to record what transpired inside the farm using my cell phone and download it in a flash drive),” Ayuda stated.

Aside from Lacson, the complainants also charged Cherrie Esquivel, a treasurer of Barangay San Isidro and Mer Cabrera, an employee of the municipal hall.


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