Arcilla to bring disqualification case to Supreme Court

Cebu City Councilor Alvin Arcilla. (Photo from Arcilla's Facebook page)

CEBU City Councilor Alvin Arcilla said he will exhaust all legal remedies to seek a reversal of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) En Banc resolution affirming an earlier decision that cancelled his certificate of candidacy (COC).

Arcilla received on Friday, June 14, 2019, a copy of the en banc resolution affirming the decision of the Comelec’s First Division. He has five calendar days to appeal the resolution with the Supreme Court (SC) and to apply for a temporary restraining order (TRO).

Lawyer Chauncey Boholst, Cebu City election officer for the north district, said they delivered a copy of the en banc resolution to Arcilla’s office in City Hall at 3 p.m.

Arcilla confirmed receiving a copy and said he would let his lawyers handle the matter and exhaust all legal remedies available.

“They (lawyers) are positive that it will be reversed because I was already proclaimed and the people of Cebu City had spoken by electing me again. It will really be up to my lawyers,” he said.

According to Boholst, the five-day period started on the day Arcilla received the resolution, which means he has until Wednesday, June 19, to file the appeal and secure a TRO.

If there is no development from the SC favoring Arcilla within five days, the En Banc resolution will be final and executory.

A writ of execution from the court, though, is still needed to implement the resolution.

Boholst said the candidate for north district councilor who ranked ninth in the May 13 elections will be proclaimed winner on orders of the Comelec and with finality of the decision on the petition to declare Arcilla’s COC null and void.

Outgoing Councilor Jerry Guardo ranked ninth in the elections.

In an interview, Guardo said he will just wait until Arcilla has availed himself of all legal remedies.

In a resolution promulgated on May 28, 2019, the Comelec en banc said that after careful review of the case, it found “no cogent reason to disturb or modify the findings reached in the assailed resolution.”

Comelec did not agree with Arcilla’s argument that his term was effectively interrupted when he served his suspension imposed by the Office of the President in 2016.

Last Oct. 22, a certain Allen Canoy filed a petition to cancel the certificates of candidacy of Arcilla and Councilor Sisinio Andales, who both belong to the Bando Osmeña Pundok Kauswagan.

Arcilla and Andales were among the 12 councilors, along with then mayor Michael Rama and Vice Mayor Edgardo Labella, who were suspended for six months in 2016 for granting P20,000 calamity assistance to all officials and employees of City Hall in 2013 in the wake of the earthquake and super typhoon Yolanda.

The Comelec en banc has yet to decide on Andales’ motion for reconsideration.

In a separate interview, Andales said he is also worried about the status of his case pending with the Comelec en banc. He also said he is already preparing to file a petition before the high court if the decision will not be in his favor. (RVC)


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