SC final verdict: Jalosjos can never hold public office PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 09 August 2013 14:08

The Supreme Court has ruled with finality the petition of former Zamboanga del Norte Congressman Romeo Jalosjos questioning his disqualification by the Commission on Election (COMELEC) from the mayoralty race in the city last May.

In an en banc meeting recently, the High Court denied the motion for reconsideration filed by Jalosjos appealing its July 13 unanimous decision that dismissed his petition for a writ of certiorari. At the same time, the Court also prohibited the filing of further pleadings or motions stating that the “entry of judgment in the case should be made in due course.”

Recall that former District I Congresswoman and now Mayor Beng Climaco and Jomar Lobregat, younger brother of former Mayor and now District I Congressman Celso Lobregat, have jointly filed a petition opposing Jalosjos’ application for voter’s registration for the second electoral district which was preparatory for his bid to run for mayor in Zamboanga in the May 13 local elections.

The opposition was based on grounds that Jalosjos, several years ago, was convicted on two counts of statutory rape and 6 counts of acts of lasciviousness which carried the accessory penalty of perpetual absolute disqualification from office.

The COMELEC’s election registration board last Augst 31, 2012 disapproved disapproved Jalosjos’ application for voter’s registration for the second electoral district. He filed a motion for reconsideration of the said board resolution but the same was denied by the Board last September 27, 2012. Jalosjos then elevated the petition to the MTC which also issued a negative ruling.

From the MTC the petition was elevated to the Regional Trial Court and later to the Supreme Court, which also dismissed the first petition in July 2013 as it was deemed moot and academic because of his exclusion as candidate in the May elections.

In an article published in the Philippine Daily Inquirer August 7, 2013 entitled “No public office for rapist Jalosjos, SC rules with finality”, writer Christine Avendaño quoted the High Court when it affirmed that Article 30 of the Revised Penal Code “would bar Jalosjos from running”.

“The provision states that the penalty of reclusion perpetua or temporal disqualification included the right to vote in any election or any popular office or to be elected to such office,” the article said. —Sheila Covarrubias