Comelec disqualifies Mariano PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 13 September 2017 16:39

By RG ANTONET GO

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) En Banc has disqualified  District I Councilor Charlie Mariano from continuing to hold the elective position of member of the SangguniangPanglungsod for the First District of Zamboanga City on the ground that the councilor was convicted by final judgment for violation of Batasang Pambansa No.22, otherwise known as the “Anti-Bouncing Check Law.”

In its en banc resolution promulgated on August 31, 2017, the Comelec reaffirmed the earlier decision rendered by the Comelec First Division stating that Mariano is disqualified fromholding the position of member for 1st District of the City Council. The poll body also denied the motion for reconsideration filed by Mariano.

Mariano’s disqualification came after Councilors, Elbert Atilano, Rodolfo Bayot, Cesar Jimenez, Josephine Parejatogether with LP council candidates King Omaga, Rodrigo Pagotaisidro, and Michael Tiu Lim filed a case of disqualification against the councilor for his conviction for violation of the anti-bouncing check law.

As early as April 25, 2016 the petitioners have already filed the formal complaint praying for Mariano’s disqualification to run for councilor as they alleged that the respondent’s conviction for violation of BP No. 22 is a crime involving moral turpitude.

The Comelec En Banc promulgated the resolution last August 31, 2017 signed by Comelec Chairman Andres Bautista and Comelec Commissioners Christian Robert Lim, Al Parreño, Luie Tito Guia, Arthur Lim, Ma. Rowena Amelia Guanzon, and Sheriff Abas.

The resolution clearly states that it disqualify Mariano from continuing to hold the position of member, Sangguniang Panglungsod, 1st District, Zamboanga City.

This resolution came after Mariano asked for a motion for reconsideration last December 2016 questioning Comelec First Division resolution dated November 23, 2016 which earlier disqualified the councilor.

In an interview at the City Council, Mariano said that he will respect and obey the law. However, he stressed that legal remedies are still being considered by his legal counsels like seeking for a temporary restraining order or even appealing it before the Supreme Court.

“As a good soldier I will vacate immediately, I will not delay things, and I will cooperate with the decision of the Comelec to oust me. But, I have to wait for due process by way of DILG executing the decision of the Comelec and removing me from office.”

The councilor added that nevertheless, they are also ready to exhaust all available legal remedies.

“Iyo mismo espantao core el caso nuay man yo cosa ya ase para asehuya conel council,ya serbi yo imbuenamente even under the most difficult conditions in my life.” Mariano said.

The councilor also said that his case on BP 22 was already settled three months ago. “Ese basis del casonaComelecakel BP 22 yaareglaya se del three months ago fully settle ya but considering that tali se pending naComelecyadecidisiyempre el Comelec cay ya man file se casomas antes pa antes yapwede man settle conelcaso. I respect the law I respect the determination of Comelec being the sole authority on the issue of disqualification.”

He also stressed that “Nohayiyorubanagobyerno, nuayyopaltanagobyerno, ta reportaiyona council, I do my job.”

Mariano also said that he feels no bitterness to those who filled the case against him as they are just doing what they should do.

Atty. Stephen Roy Cañete, first district election officer, said that they already sent the En Banc resolution Friday to Mariano’s legal counsel and Tuesday morning at his office.

“The ground filed is misrepresentation which is naka saad sa Certificate of Candidacy that I was not convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude. May decision na ang Supreme Court nayung conviction sa BP 22 which is bouncing check law involves moral turpitude,” Cañete said.

He said that based on the Comelec rules Mariano has five days after receipt to secure a Temporary Restraining Order.If he cannot get it, the decision of the Comelec En Banc becomes final. The office will also have to wait for the certificate of finality coming from Comelec Manila.

On the vacancy according to Cañete, the rule of succession will be followed contained in the Local Government Code which is party affiliation. “So, el party ken man nominate replacement.”

Vice Mayor Cesar Iturralde said that as of now, they cannot still take official notice and Mariano is still a councilor.

“Triste kita, actiboconsejal, muchu ya contribuhi, then ya chene este unfortunate incident conele we have to follow the process as soon as we receive the official notice of this judgment we have to implement the order,” Iturralde said.

One of the petitioners, First district city councilor, Elbert Atilano said that “El Comelecyacuidawcheneya decision y mira kita cosa disuyu next move.” (R.G. A A. Go)