Comelec annuls proclamation of Marinduque representative

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MANILA -- The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has annulled the proclamation of Regina Ongsiako Reyes as the winning representative of Marinduque province in the May 13 midterm elections.

 

“The May 18 proclamation of the respondent, Regina Ongsiako Reyes, is declared null and void and without any legal force and effect,” said the 19-page resolution by the Commission en banc.

With this, the poll body ordered the Provincial Board of Canvassers (PBOC) of Marinduque to proclaim Lord Allan Jay Velasco as the winning representative in the province’s lone district.

“Since petitioner remains the only remaining candidate for the position of representative, who garnered 48,396 votes, then the PBOC shall proclaim him as the winning candidate,” said the en banc, voting 5-2.

The order added that the proclamation of Reyes should be annulled since she lacked the one-year residency requirement and for being an American citizen.

Last March, the Comelec First Division has cancelled the COC of Reyes on the grounds that she is an American citizen and did not meet the one-year residency requirement.

Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes, Commissioners Lucenito Tagle, Elias Yusoph, Grace Padaca, and Luie Guia voted to unseat Reyes.

For their part, Commissioners Christian Lim and Al Parreno dissented noting that Comelec has no jurisdiction over the case since Reyes has been proclaimed by the PBOC.

However, the poll body said that they still have jurisdiction of the case since what is being declared null is the action of the PBOC, which is under the Comelec.

“Clearly, therefore, contrary to the assertions of the Respondent Reyes, the Commission retains jurisdiction to determine the validity and propriety of the acts of the PBOC,” said the resolution.

On the other hand, Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes explained that the en banc is merely continuing the Petition to Deny Due Course on the Certificate of Canvass (COC) of Reyes.

“Indeed, while the denial of due course to and/or cancellation of COC generally necessitates the exercise of the Commission’s quasi-judicial functions, when the grounds therefore are rendered conclusive on account of final and executory judgments, such exercise falls within the Commission’s administrative jurisdiction to enforce and administer all laws and regulations – which is definitely outside the functions of the HRET,” he said in his concurring opinion.