Beng: MTC ruling strengthens our faith in justice system PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 25 October 2012 15:12

House Deputy Speaker and District 1 Rep. Beng Climaco-Salazar the other day said the decision of the Municipal Trial Court denying the petition of Romeo Jalosjos for inclusion in the permanent list of voters, strengthens people’s faith in the justice system.

Climaco and the Liberal party opposed Jalosjos’ application for voter’s registration at the local Comelec office. The Election Registration Board last August 31 has disapproved Jalosjos’ application citing the evidences presented by Climaco, the Liberal party as well as that of Jomar Lobregat, who filed a similar opposition.

The opposition emphasized that the former Zamboanga del Norte congressman is disqualified to register as a voter on grounds he suffers the accessory penalty of perpetual absolute disqualification by virtue of his conviction of the crimes of Statutory Rape and Acts of Lasciviousness.

The MTC, presided by Judge Nancy Bantayanon-Cuaresma, decided that Jalosjos is “not qualified to register as a voter and to vote” and  consequently “cannot be a candidate and cannot be voted upon in any national or local elections until his perpetual absolute disqualifications are expressly remitted and restored by pardon.”

The court took into consideration the final judgment of the Supreme Court affirming the decision of RTC Branch 62 that found Jalosjos “guilty beyond reasonable doubt of two counts of statutory rape and sentencing him to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua for each count and the decision of RTC Branch 62 that found Jalosjos guilty beyond reasonable doubt of acts of lasciviousness in 6 counts.

The decision cited provisions in the Revised Penal Code, the Comelec law and various jurisprudences.

But Climaco said while she is delighted by the MTC ruling, she foresees further battles ahead. She said it is merely the initial steps in her crusade to uphold the rule of law and ensure that it applies equally to everyone.

“We foresee further battles ahead. Thus, I implore our people to maintain consciousness and vigilance in the coming days in order to ensure that our initial gains will be protected, that the rule of law will be upheld, and that no man, regardless of his wealth, influence or social stature, will be allowed to circumvent our laws and gain undue advantage at the expense of our people”, she reiterated. — Marvin Segura