Comelec affirms disqualification vs Ilocos Norte mayor

September 15, 2010 10:40 am 

MANILA, Sept. 14 – The Commission on Elections (Comelec)en banc has affirmed the decision of its Second Division unseating Dingras, Ilocos Norte Mayor Marynette Gamboa.

In a seven-page resolution, the Comelec en banc upheld the division ruling after finding that Gamboa was wanted in the United States on felony charges.

“In an attempt to extricate herself from her predicament, Gamboa tried to explain why the warrant of arrest was unjustifiably issued and that she has not been apprehended by the US authorities despite her stay therein,” said the resolution dated Aug. 31.

It also said: “We remain unconvinced. After a second look at the arguments and evidence submitted to us, we are unable to find any reason to reverse the findings of the Second Division.”

Although, the Comelec noted that it was not its duty to decide on the propriety of the warrant of arrest against Gamboa, what is clear to them is that the latter was indicted for three felony charges in the State of California and that prosecution was ongoing until her unexplained failure to appear during the April 30, 1998 hearing consequently forfeiting her bail.

“While we recognize the power of the electorate’s sovereign will, this, following the Supreme Court, is not enough for us to turn a blind eye to Gamboa’s eligibility for being a fugitive from justice. The will of the people as expressed through the ballot cannot cure the vice of ineligibility, especially if they mistakenly believed that the candidate was qualified,” the Comelec said.

They said that Section 40 (e) of the Local Government Code, has disqualified Gamboa from running for the mayoralty position.

On the other hand, he will be succeeded by the elected Vice-Mayor of the town under Sections 44, 1st paragraph of the Local Government Code of 1991, which states that “if a permanent vacancy occurs in the offices of the governor, vice-governor, mayor or vice-mayor, the highest ranking Sangguniang member or, in case of his permanent inability, the second highest ranking sanggunian member, shall become the governor, vice-governor, Mayor or vice-mayor, as the case may be.”

Gamboa’s candidacy was questioned by petitioner Nathaniel Ruben Taylan, claiming that she is a fugitive from justice in relation to a warrant of arrest issued by the Supreme Court of California, Country of Ventura. (PNA) RMA/FGP/utb


Comments are closed.