SC unseats Jalosjos as Dapitan mayor over robbery conviction PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 03 November 2012 14:57

A ghost from his past has come back to haunt Mayor Dominador Jalosjos of Dapitan City, Zamboanga del Norte.

This, as the Supreme Court (SC) unseated him and ordered his perpetual disqualification from an elective post due to his conviction in a robbery case 53 years ago.

Jalosjos is the younger brother of former Zamboanga del Norte congressman Romeo Jalosjos who himself was convicted to suffer reclusion perpetua or life imprisonment for statutory rape.

In a 21-page resolution penned by Associate Justice Antonio Carpio, the SC declared Mayor Jalosjos’ political rival, Agapito Cardino, as the rightful mayor of Dapitan City, having been the only qualified candidate who obtained the highest number of votes in the May 2010 elections next to Jalosjos.

This means Cardino will take over Dapitan City Hall with just six months left in office.

The SC affirmed the Commission on Elections (Comelec) ruling which cancelled Jalosjos’ certificate of candidacy since he was not eligible to run for any public office.

Worse, he has not yet served his sentence up to the present, as he merely submitted a falsified certification on Dec. 19, 2003 from the former administrator of the Parole and Probation Administration that he had supposedly fully complied with the terms and conditions of his probation.

“The perpetual special disqualification against Jalosjos arising from his criminal conviction by final judgment is a material fact involving eligibility which is a proper ground for a petition under Section 78 of the Omnibus Election Code,” the SC said.

“Jalosjos’ certificate of candidacy was void from the start since he was not eligible to run for any public office at the time he filed his certificate of candidacy. Jalosjos was never a candidate at any time, and all votes for Jalosjos were stray votes,” it added.

The SC held that the Comelec is under legal duty to cancel the certificate of candidacy of anyone suffering from the accessory penalty of perpetual special disqualification to run for public office by virtue of a final judgment.

According to the SC, a sentence of prision mayor by final judgment is a ground for disqualification under Section 40 of the Local Government Code and Section 12 of the Omnibus Election Code.

“Thus, the poll body was directed to constitute a Special City Board of Canvassers to proclaim Cardino as the duly elected mayor of Dapitan City, Zamboanga del Norte,” it ruled.

Records show that Jalosjos was found guilty by the Cebu City Circuit Criminal Court on April 30, 1970 for the Jan. 22, 1969 robbery and was sentenced along with three others to prision mayor, or four to six years in jail. - By Edu Punay — Philstar News Service, www.philstar.com