CAGAYAN de Oro City Rep. Jose Benjamin A. Benaldo (1st district) said he considers the election protest against him “dead.”

The neophyte lawmaker faced two election hurdles: A disqualification case accused him of lacking residency requirements, filed a month before the May 14 elections; a charge seeking nullification of his proclamation ensued after his victory.

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Late last month, the Commission Elections (Comelec) dismissed both cases for lack of jurisdiction. Comelec said the cases should have been field before the House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal (HRET).

A list of pending HRET obtained by Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro, however, showed that Benaldo is not among the 56 lawmakers facing pending election protest.

“This means that all challenges posed against me are dead,” said Benaldo, noting that under the House rules, election protests must be filed before HRET 10 days after the proclamation of the candidate.

“I hope we can have closure in all these and move forward. I’m eager to serve my constituents and I’m willing to work with stakeholders across party lines so that our people are ably represented,” the lawmaker said.

Legal counsels for Cyril F. Salcedo and Nilda A. dela Victoria, the protestants -- and Reiner Joaquin V. Uy, a defeated candidate who intervened in the case -- were not immediately available for comment. (DVA)