Sulu mayoral bet faces DQ case over violation of RA 9006 Print
Monday, 25 January 2016 11:49

A mayoral candidate of Lugus Municipality, Sulu Province is facing a disqualification complaint filed Wednesday, January 20, 2016, for alleged violation of pertinent provisions of Republic Act No. 9006, as implemented by Commission on Elections (COMELEC) Resolution No. 9615.

In a 6-page petition, the petitioner, mayoral bet Hadar Hajiri, asked the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to disqualify Abdulsali K. Asmadun, who filed his certificate of candidacy (COC) on October 12, 2015 for the position of mayor of the said town in the May 9, 2016 elections.

The petition of Hajiri against Asmadun was filed with the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) and received by the Office of the Clerk of the Commission on January 20, 2016 at 3:50 p.m. in Manila.

The case stemmed from an incident,  where Asmadun and his 40 unidentified armed companions allegedly threatened and prevented the complainants to post the campaign materials of Hajiri, a candidate for mayoral race in Lugus town in April 7, 2013.

Citing the Commission En Banc resolution issued on October 27, 2015, Hajiri said Asmadun violated the provision “when they prohibited their political opponent from posting lawful campaign materials in five barangays in the Municipality of Lugus, Sulu.

The said provision is pursuant to Section 83 of the Omnibus Election Code which provides that it is “unlawful for any person during the campaign period to..... prevent the distribution of lawful election propaganda,” said Atty. Meltino J. Sibulan, counsel for petitioner.

Sibulan explained the petition to disqualify Asmadun under Rule 25 of COMELEC Rules of Procedure, as amended by COMELEC Resolution No. 9523 is likewise filed under the “moto propio power” of the Commission to exercise its “legal duty to cancel the COC of anyone, like the respondent (Asmadun).

He said the COMELEC En Banc resolution directed its Law Department to file an information against Asmadun and his 40 unidentified companions having found probable cause to indict them for violating pertinent provisions of RA 9006.

Under Section 22 of COMELEC Resolution No. 9516, during the campaign period, it is unlawful for any person to remove, destroy, obliterate or, in any manner, deface or tamper with, or prevent the distribution of any lawful election propaganda.

“And under Section 68 of the Omnibus Election Code, any candidate who, in action or protest in which he is a party... found by the Commission of having.... violated any Sections 80, 83, 85, 86 and 261, shall be disqualified from continuing as a candidate, or he has been elected, from holding the office,” Sibulan further said.

Hajiri said he prays that the Commission after due notice and hearing, respondent be declared disqualified from running for the position of mayor of Lugus town in the May 9 elections on based on Section 22 COMELEC Resolution No. 9615, in relation to RA No. 9006, and to Sections 83, and 68 of Omnibus Election Code.

He also asked the Commission to cancel Asmadun’s COC under the said “moto propio power of the COMELEC and the respondent’s name be excluded from the Certified List of Official Candidates for the position of mayor of Lugus and his name be likewise excluded form the official ballots to be prepared for the automated May 9, 2016 elections.

His lawyer prayed to the Honorable Commission that if by the time the petition is resolved respondent’s name had already been included in the official ballots for the 2016 elections, such that his votes would still be counted by the automated counting machines and canvassing systems to be used for the said elections, an Order be issued the Commission directing the Boards of Canvassers for the town of Lugus, Sulu to consider the votes cast for respondent as stray or invalid votes.”

“In most remote possibility that respondent’s name would be in the official ballots on the day of the election and he garners the highest number of votes while this petition is still pending final resolution, an Order be issued directing the Board of Canvassers of Lugus, Sulu to suspend his proclamation as winning candidate for mayor of said municipality.”

In its 4-page resolution promulgated on Oct. 27, 2015, the COMELEC En Banc headed by Chairman Andres Bautista found a probable cause to indict Asmadun and his 40 unidentified companions. The resolution was signed by Bautista and six commissioners — Christian Robert Lim, Luie Tito Guia, Rowena, Amelia Guanzon, Al Parreño, Arthur Lim, and Sheriff Abas. —  Hader Glang