Comelec: Electoral tribunal holds jurisdiction over Tulfo case

Photo from DSWD Secretary Erwin Tulfo's Facebook account
Photo from DSWD Secretary Erwin Tulfo's Facebook account

THE next battleground for Anti-Crime and Terrorism Community Involvement and Support (ACT-CIS) Party-list fourth nominee Erwin Tulfo could be before the House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal (HRET).

This as the Commission on Elections (Comelec) said that the jurisdiction over questions on his qualifications as a party-list nominee is already in the hands of the HRET.

"In the decision of the Comelec Second Division, it ruled that the Comelec has no jurisdiction to discuss this petition (to disqualify)," said Comelec Spokesperson John Rex Laudiangco in a televised public briefing.

"If they still want to appeal the case, they may do so in a different avenue, a different forum. It may already be under the HRET," he added.

If there are no other questions raised before either the Comelec or HRET, the poll official said there is nothing preventing Tulfo from assuming the House seat.

"As of now, the Comelec is not preventing him since we don't have jurisdiction on this matter," said Laudiangco.

On Thursday, the Comelec Second Division dismissed the disqualification case filed against Tulfo by Atty Moises Tolentino Jr.

The poll body said the case is being dismissed as it is outside the Comelec’s jurisdiction to rule on the matter.

The Comelec noted how the petition of Tolentino was already filed way beyond the deadline set by the Comelec in filing petitions for disqualification.

ACT-CIS was the top vote-getter in the May 2022 party-list race after receiving a total of 2,111,091 votes.

Having the highest number of party-list votes, ACT-CIS secured three seats in Congress and were, subsequently, occupied by the first three nominees, namely Edvic Yap, Jocelyn Tulfo and Jeffrey Soriano.

In February 2023, Soriano resigned as the third nominee of ACT-CIS, thereby leaving the seat vacant.

Being the 4th nominee of the party-list, Tulfo was supposed to immediately assume the seat vacated by Soriano.

But prior to the assumption of Tulfo, Tolentino filed a petition for disqualification at the Comelec, thereby resulting in the temporary suspension of his proclamation. (HDT/SunStar Philippines)


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