MABALACAT CITY -- Noli Castro Jr. of the PDP-Laban is qualified to run in the upcoming mayoral race in Mabalacat City after the Commission on Elections (Comelec) Second Division junked for "lack of merit" the petition to disqualify him as a "nuisance" candidate.
Comelec presiding commissioner Lucenito Tagle noted in the decision that the "instant petition of Vice Mayor Noel Castro is based solely on the fact that petitioner and respondent bear the same surname. But then similarity of names alone does not suffice as ground to declare a candidate as a nuisance. More so when allegations of petitioner are unsubstantiated and based only on conjectures."
Three candidates will vie for the mayoral post here - incumbent Mayor Marino P. Morales, Vice Mayor Noel Castro and Noli Castro.
Vice Mayor Castro, in filing the complaint, said that Noli’s nickname is “Jun Castro,” which is similar to the nickname registered by a certain Marcos "Jun" Castro, a candidate for the position of councilor in Mabalacat City in the May 2010 elections.
Marcos Castro is now running for Provincial Board Member of Pampanga.
The vice mayor also argued that Noli "has been ill without a permanent source of income, and running as lone candidate without vice mayoralty or councilor candidates with him."
He noted that Noli will only create confusion among voters in Mabalacat City.
Noli disrupted, however, the vice mayor’s claims because he said "he is a bona fide candidate for the position of mayor in Mabalacat City."
Although he lost when he ran for councilor in the May 2010 polls, Noli bagged 15,624 votes.