Lobregat supports petition vs Jalosjos PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 08 July 2012 14:38

Mayor Celso Lobregat has expressed all out support to petitions filed by the Liberal Party and the Adelante Zamboanga Party asking the Commission on Elections to restrain former Zamboanga del Norte Congressman Romeo Jalosjos from registering as a voter on the basis of the latter’s conviction for rape and acts of lasciviousness.

Mayor Lobregat, who heads the Laban ng Demokratikong Pilipino (LDP) party in Zamboanga said he fully supports the separate petitions filed by Deputy House Speaker and District I Representative Beng Climaco, head of the Liberal party in Zamboanga and by his younger brother Jomar Lobregat, who heads the Adelante Zamboanga Party, Friday, July 6.

He said like Climaco and his younger brother Jomar, he too has studied pertinent laws concerning qualifications and disqualifications of a voter, thus, his absolute support to the move.

“The laws are very clear about qualifications and disqualifications,” the mayor said when asked about the twin filing of the petitions.

He said the lawyers of Climaco and younger Lobregat have extensively studied the provisions of the 1987 Constitution, the Penal Code, Omnibus Election Code, COMELEC Registration Act and other Comelec resolutions to ensure an air tight case.

“Si sigi tu na ley, hinde puede man file (application for registration)” (if we follow the law, he (Jalosjos) cannot file an application for registration),” the mayor emphasized during an interview Friday afternoon.

Based on certification from the local Comelec, Jalosjos, who has announced his intentions to run for mayor in the mid-term 2013 elections, has filed an application for voter’s registration in precinct number 1465-A, barangay Tetuan, District II of Zamboanga City, April 26, 2012.

In a statement after filing the opposition or petition Friday, Cong. Climaco said Jalosjos applied for voter’s registration “despite knowing fully well that he is disqualified from registering as a voter”.

“As Chairperson of LP’s Zamboanga City Chapter and as a lawmaker, it is incumbent upon me to ensure that all rights are protected, that our electoral process is respected and that our laws, in both letter and intent, be followed,” she said.

Both Climaco and Jomar Lobregat in their separate petitions assert that the disqualification of Jalosjos resulted from his conviction of the crimes of statutory rape and acts of lasciviousness, which was upheld by the Supreme Court in its decision in the case of People of the Philippines vs. Romeo G. Jalosjos, G.R. Nos. 132875-76, dated November 16, 2001.

The Supreme Court upheld the Regional Trial Court’s decision finding Jalosjos guilty beyond reasonable doubt of two counts of statutory rape and six counts of acts of lasciviousness, sentencing him to reclusion perpetua and reclusion temporal, respectively for each count. As such, Jalosjos suffers from the accessory penalty of perpetual absolute disqualification under Article 30 of the Revised Penal Code, including being deprived of the right to vote in any election for any popular elective office or to be elected to such office.

Both petitioners also aver that even if Jalosjos was granted commutation of sentence by former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo in 2009, the same merely reduced the original sentence and has not reinstated his privilege to register as voter, to vote and be voted unless these are expressly remitted and restored by pardon.

“He is released from jail but these penalties were not removed, his right to vote was not restored,” Jomar Lobregat said.

Climaco and Jomar Lobregat filed their separate petitions July 6, within the time frame set by COMELEC rules for the filing of petitions for application for voter’s registration, which is between July 3-9, 2012. Hearings for the petitions are set August 20.  — Rey Carbonel