Comelec finally declares Pagdanganan as the winner in the 2007 Bulacan gubernatorial race

March 5, 2010 11:14 pm 

MANILA, March 5 — The Commission on Elections (Comelec) finally ruled on Friday that Roberto “Obet” Pagdanganan was the duly-elected governor of Bulacan in the May 2007 polls.

“The matter was deliberated on by the Commission en banc and the seven members maintained their respective stands — three votes concurring, one vote dissenting, three votes no part — on the resolution of the Second Division dated December 1, 2009. Hence, pursuant to Section 6, Rule 18, Comelec Rules of Procedure, the latter is deemed affirmed,” part of the Comelec's five-page resolution read.

With the ruling, the poll body ordered the issuance of a Writ of Execution directing the provincial election supervisor of Bulacan to implement the resolution.

“The Commission is ordering Joselito Mendoza to cease- and-desist from performing the functions of the governor of the province of Bulacan and to vacate the said office in favor of Roberto Pagdanganan,” the resolution added.

Last month, the Comelec en banc ruled that Pagdanganan was the winner of the gubernatorial race in the province, but they needed a rehearing after failure to achieve the required majority votes.

Under Comelec rules, a rehearing is required in cases of impasse in a bid to see if the members of the en banc would change their minds. If the voting of the members of the en banc remains the same, the ruling of the division will be honored.

In the latest decision, the members of the Second Division — Commissioners Nicodemo Ferrer, Lucenito Tagle and Elias Yusoph — maintained their earlier vote to grant the win to Pagdanganan while Commissioner Rene Sarmiento dissented.

Comelec Chairman Jose Melo and First Division members Commissioner Gregorio Larrazabal and Armando Velasco maintained their previous decisions to take no part in the ruling.

Based on the Comelec’s count, Pagdanganan garnered a margin of 4,321 votes over Mendoza’s 337,974 votes.

The decision was a reversal of the 2007 proclamation made by the Provincial Board of Canvassers, where Mendoza was found to have garnered a total of 364,566 votes as against Pagdanganan’s 348,834 votes for a margin of 15,732 votes. (PNA) scs/FGP/utb

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