Comelec affirms proclamation of Antique governor

Comelec affirms proclamation of Antique governor
By Nestor P. Burgos Jr.
Visayas Bureau

ILOILO CITY, Philippines — The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has junked an appeal of former assemblyman Arturo Pacificador for a stop to the proclamation of Antique Governor Salvacion Zaldivar-Perez.

In a five-page ruling promulgated on January 24 by the Comelec en banc, the poll body affirmed the May 28, 2007 resolution of the Comelec’s Second Division denying Pacificador’s petition to suspend the canvassing of votes and the proclamation of Perez.

The Comelec resolution, signed by then Acting Chair Resurreccion Borra and concurred with by Commissioners Florentino Tuason Jr., Romeo Brawner, Rene Sarmiento, Nicodemo Ferrer and Moslemen Macarambon, said the suspension of canvassing and proclamation “has already been mooted” by the proclamation and assumption to office of Perez.

A special provincial board of canvassers proclaimed Perez on June 29, 2007 with a margin of more than 13,000 votes over Pacificador based on results from the province’s 1,855 precincts.

Pacificador petitioned for the suspension of canvassing of votes and the proclamation of Perez until the full resolution of a disqualification case he filed against Perez.

Both the former assemblyman and former representative Jovito Plameras Jr., who also ran but lost in the gubernatorial elections, sought the disqualification of Perez and seven of her party mates in the Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC) for allegedly violating the ban on public spending during the election period.

However, the Comelec’s First Division dismissed on January 25, 2007 the disqualification case for lack of merit.

In its January 24 resolution dismissing Pacificador’s appeal, the Comelec affirmed its Resolution No. 8062 that provided that there would be no suspension of proclamation of winning candidates with pending disqualification cases.

The Comelec said the suspension of proclamation of winning candidates “may only be made where sufficient justification warrants that interference be made.”

It said Pacificador’s petition failed to provide proof that would justify the suspension of any proclamation.

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