Court to resolve ex-village chief case

THE Municipal Trial Court in Cities (MTCC) Branch 2 presiding judge is set to resolve the election protest of the former chief of Barangay 76-A Bucana in Davao City after the temporary restraining order (TRO) issued by the Commission on Election (Comelec) expired since it was implemented on January 15.

MTCC Branch 2 Judge Marie Estrellita Tolentino-Rojas, in her order dated March 31 said the TRO expired after 60 days since the proceedings of the case were suspended on January 15, 2014.

Thus, the election protest of former Barangay 76-A chief Robert Olanolan against winning barangay chief Rolando Trajera was submitted for decision.

"On record, both parties did not file a comment on the committee report within the given period nor manifested a desire to present evidence aligned and only the protestant filed a formal offer cum position paper enumerating therein the evidence for the protestant to support their claim. The protestee opted not to file his formal offer despite the period given. The election protest is now submitted for decision," Rojas' order read.

The resolution of the case was stalled when Trajera, through his legal counsel Mel Sumatra, filed a petition for certiorari and a writ of preliminary injunction after he accused Rojas "to have acted with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction in giving due course to the respondent's election protest."

The recount and revision of the ballots questioned by the protestant, meanwhile, was done on December 10.

Legal counsel for Olanolan Alexis Lumbatan, in a recent interview, claimed that from their own version of the recount and revision, the protestant had a lead of 142 votes over Trajera.

Sun.Star Davao tried to reach Trajera but to no avail as he refused to answer phone calls and text messages.
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