SC junks petition of Salud to reverse ruling disqualifying him from polls

THE Supreme Court (SC) en banc has dismissed the petition of boxing promoter Rex “Wakee” Salud to reverse the decision of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) disqualifying him as mayoral candidate of Cordova town.

“The court resolved to dismiss the petition for failure of the petitioner to sufficiently show that any grave abuse of discretion was committed by the Comelec in rendering the challenged resolution which, on the contrary, appears to be in accord with the facts and applicable law and jurisprudence,” the resolution read.

Salud said he respects the court’s decision, saying he will wait for the next elections in 2016 before he makes his next move.

“Kun di para ato, di gyud para ato (Some things are not meant to be)” he said in a phone interview. “Dawaton nalang nato (I will just accept the decision).”

Last Jan. 15, the Comelec en banc cancelled Salud’s certificate of candidacy (COC) and removed him from the list of candidates in Cordova. Section 39 (a) of the Local Government Code states that “an elective local official must be a registered voter in the municipality or city where he intends to be elected.”

The resolution was signed by Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes and six commissioners.

Salud filed his COC last Oct. 4 to run against incumbent Mayor Adelino Sitoy.

The SC en banc also said Salud’s petition was “premature” for the businessman still has a pending motion for reconsideration before the Comelec and his motion to withdraw has not been acted upon.

Salud’s lawyer, Galeleo Angeles, wanted to withdraw the motion for reconsideration because they wanted to resort to SC for “more adequate and speedy remedy.”

The Comelec Second Division, in its Jan. 4, 2013 resolution, ruled that Salud is not and cannot be a registered voter of Barangay Cogon, Cordova. He is also not eligible to run for any position in the town.

His residency in Barangay Cogon also fell short of the one-year residency requirement for him to be eligible to run for mayor.

Salud claimed that he has been renting a house in Barangay Cogon since June 2011, bought a 2,000-square-meter lot there and opened a lumber store.

In her affidavit, the house owner, Marcosa Dinoy, said Salud has been to the house several times during weekends and slept there whenever he wanted to.

Municipal Circuit Trial Court Judge Jocelyn Uy-Po also denied for lack of merit Salud’s petition twice, saying she found no error in the ruling of the Election Registration Board (ERB) in Cordova, which denied the businessman’s bid to include his name in the voters list in Barangay Cogon.
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