FOR leaving out a minor yet important detail in its paperwork, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) recently scrapped the request of a group of individuals who wanted Mayor Oscar Moreno removed from office through a recall petition.
The recall petition is defined as the procedure by which the people may remove a government official from office, in this case, the city mayor. To fill this vacancy, a special election may be held upon order of the Comelec.
In the Comelec resolution provided to the media Monday, the poll body has resolved that the petition filed by Oscar Moreno Gaabucayan and others against Moreno was insufficient as it failed to follow all the requirements.
“The Commission RESOLVED, as it hereby RESOLVES, to adopt the foregoing recommendation of Deputy Executive Director for Operations Bartolome J. Sinocruz Jr. to certify to the insufficiency of the Petition for Recall filed by Mr. Oscar Moreno Gaabucayan, et. al. against Mayor Oscar S. Moreno of Cagayan de Oro City, for failure to comply with the requirements of Section 8 of Comelec Resolution No. 7505,” reads a part of the Comelec resolution.
The document was signed by Comelec acting chairman Christian Robert Lim, and Commissioners Al Parreño, Luie Tito Guia, and Arthur Lim.
The decision was issued during the special en banc meeting of the Comelec attended by the said election officials held on February 12, 2015.
Section 8 of Resolution 7505 states that aside from the names, addresses and signatures of the supporting petitioners which are affixed on the petition sheets, “each page of the signature sheet shall also indicate the name of the officials sought to be recalled, including his position; a brief narration of the reasons and justifications for the filing of the petition…”
Sinocruz noted that “there is no brief narration of the reasons and justifications for the filing of the petition in each and every page of the signature sheets.”
“While there is a comprehensive narration of the reasons and justification for filing of the recall petition, both in English, entitled ‘Petition to Recall,’ and local dialect version, entitled ‘Hangyo Pagbakwi’ in the cover page for each complied batch or clustered group of barangays, Resolution No. 7505 specifically requires that each and every page shall contain the said narration of the reasons for the filing of the petition,” it said.
Sinocruz reasoned that the narration of the cause and justification for the filing of the petition “is to apprise the signatories of the rationale or reasons why they sought to recall such official. Without the said brief narration on the (sic) each and every page of the signature sheets, the Commission could not presume on whether the supporting petitioners were actually informed of the reasons for the petition or have understood the signature sheets they were signing.”
Expected to fail
In a text message to Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro on Monday, City Information Officer Maricel Casiño-Rivera said the failure of the petition recall to prosper has been expected by the Moreno administration as it accused the petitioners of deceiving the people who were made to sign it.
“This is expected because even during their signature campaign many had already complained that they didn’t know what they were signing for,” Rivera said.
“...petition (Others were told it was for scholarship or assistance and other sort of deception so the people could sign the petition),” she added.