SECTIONS
Sunday, September 15, 2019
CEBU

Nalzaro: Amay Abella’s case will take time

Saksi

DO YOU know who was responsible for the filing of the certificate of candidacy for councilor of one Sherwin Luie Abella in the south district last May 13 elections? According to my source, it was a former city councilor identified with Team Rama who prodded and convinced Abella to run ostensibly to create confusion against another candidate, lawyer Marie Velle “Amay” Abella of the Bando Osmeña Pundok Kauswagan (BOPK).

According to my source, it was also a “resbak” by the Team Rama group against BOPK because the latter also fielded a certain Ian Osmeña to create confusion against Barug PDP Laban candidate, Renato “Junjun” Osmeña. Then there was a certain Paulino “Paul” Osmeña who also ran for mayor purposely to create confusion against BOPK mayoral candidate, Tomas Osmeña. However, Paulino was declared a nuisance candidate by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) before the May 13 elections.

It was a sort of political maneuver by both camps just to confuse the voters. According to my source, a Sherwin Abella really exists. But he could no longer be located since then. That is why he failed to respond to Amay’s petition declaring him as a nuisance candidate. That is the reason Amay’s petition prospered. I doubt if he can also file a motion for reconsideration to the decision of the Comelec. This is now the problem of Barug PDP Laban because once the Comelec will decide with finality, Phillip Zafra, who ranked eighth in the election will be affected. This, given the scenario that the votes garnered by Sherwin will be credited to Amay. I believe Zafra can only intervene if the decision becomes final.

Political pundits cited the case of Celestino “Tining” Martinez III who ran for Congress in the Province’s 4th District against Benhur Salimbangon in the 2007 elections. There was a certain Edilito Martinez who also ran for the same position. Tining filed a petition asking the cancellation of the certificate of candidacy of Edilito and declared him a nuisance candidate as it will create confusion. The Comelec favored Tining’s petition, which was affirmed by the Supreme Court.

Salimbangon was proclaimed winner. But the High Tribunal later ruled that the votes of Edilito be credited to Tining, thus dislodging Salimbangon. But poor Tining, he was only able to attend a few sessions and Congress went on adjournment in time for the next elections. Aw, basta na-congressman ug kadyot si Tining.

Here is a similar and recent Supreme Court jurisprudence in the case of GR 235058 promulgated last Sept. 4, 2018.

On Oct. 14, 2015, Jennifer Antiquera Roxas filed her certificate of candidacy for City Councilor in the first district of Pasay City for the May 9, 2016 elections. On Oct. 21, 2015, she filed a petition for disqualification against Rosalie Isles Roxas before the Comelec, praying for the latter to be declared a nuisance candidate because her certificate of candidacy was only filed for the sole purpose of causing confusion among voters by the similarity of the names.

On March 30, 2016, the Comelec second division granted the petition and declared Rosalie a nuisance candidate. Rosalie filed a motion for reconsideration. While it was pending before the Comelec, the elections were held. The top six winners were proclaimed. Jennifer was not included because she ranked seventh, while Rosalie ranked 14th place with 13,228 votes. Jennifer filed an election protest against Comelec officials and prayed that the votes garnered by Rosalie be credited to her.

The case reached the Supreme Court where the court slightly admonished the poll body: “Had the Comelec promptly resolved the simple motion for reconsideration of Rosalie before the elections, then her name could have been removed from the ballots and prevented confusion among the voters with similar names. That delay created the unwarranted present scenario. The upcoming election is not a valid excuse for the sluggish disposition of crucial cases for disqualification of nuisance candidates. Any delay on the part of the Comelec increases the probability of votes lost due to the confusion brought about by nuisance candidates.”

The SC ruled: 1) reconvene the special board of canvassers for the purpose of re-canvassing the votes; 2) count the votes for nuisance candidate Rosalie Isles Roxas in favor of Jennifer Roxas. However, if there is a ballot that contains votes in favor of Rosalie and Jennifer, only one vote shall be counted in favor of the latter.

Morag madugay-dugay pa ni kay naa may re-canvassing. Dili ni pareho sa ilang Alvin Arcilla ug Sisinio Andales nga gidali-dali.


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