Following a thorough cleaning before the weekend, the Supreme Court (SC) on Monday put a…
Comelec will follow the SC’s decision in the VP Bet case.
The Supreme Court’s ruling about the petition submitted by a vice presidential candidate who was labeled a nuisance candidate in the most recent polls on May 9, 2022, will be followed by the Commission on Elections (Comelec).
According to Comelec spokesperson John Rex Laudiangco, the election authority will abide by the ruling in the Wilson Cartero Abad case.
“With the contempt and reprimand ruling. The Comelec has fully complied with this Supreme Court ruling, including its directives regarding the publication and publicity of all election-related activity, the official said in a statement.
The Comelec, led by Chairman George Erwin Garcia, “has introduced reform proposals even before the decision, in this case, came out. These reform proposals include the publication of the calendar of activities by our resolution and the submission of official activities and election work as additional guidance to the public and the Court,” he continued.
He promised the SC and the public that Comelec “would honestly and immediately comply” with the court’s ruling, which was just put on its website on November 22 but was issued on July 5, 2022.
“Therefore, the Wilson Caritero Amad Petition for Certiorari is denied inasmuch as it has become academic and moot. Nevertheless, the Temporary Restraining Order dated January 20, 2022, which was the Court’s legal directive, is what led to the members of the Commission on Elections being held in contempt of the Supreme Court. They are therefore censured for their disobedience, according to the 18-page decision.
It was reported that the Commission disregarded the temporary restraining order (TRO) it imposed to prevent the printing of official ballots from happening.
Notably, the Comelec continued with its pre-election activities and even started printing the serialized ballots without Amad’s name on January 23, 2022, after the Court issued the TRO, all without taking into account Amad’s statutory right to dispute the Comelec’s dispositions. As a result, it is obvious that Comelec broke the court’s TRO, according to the SC.
It said, “In this context, it is important to keep in mind that Amad also requested that the Comelec be found in contempt of court for disobeying the court’s TRO.
The case arose from Abad’s petition for certiorari, which was submitted on January 4, 2022. In it, he sought the High Tribunal to grant a TRO or Writ of Preliminary Injunction in opposition to the poll body’s First Division ruling, which was upheld by the Commission en banc.
Regarding the poll body’s designation of the petitioner as a nuisance candidate, the SC ruled that it committed serious abuse of discretion since it failed to show that the designation was required under Section 69 of the Omnibus Election Code.
“In this case, the records are devoid of any proof that Amad’s filing of his COC (Certificate of Candidacy) was done with the intention of making fun of the electoral process or confusing the electorate. Furthermore, Amad’s claim that he is only well-known in Northern Mindanao does not prove that he does not genuinely intend to run for vice president. Therefore, it is blatantly obvious that the Comelec abused its power when it dismissed Amad’s application for reconsideration and labeled him a nuisance candidate without providing any supporting evidence or legal justification,” it continued.
The Comelec must also give the tribunal a timeline of its events and pre-election operations, the Court further stated.
Therefore, it said, “the Comelec must find an intricate balance between (1) safeguarding the democratic process, which necessitates respecting parties’ rights to avail of their statutory remedies; and (2) ensuring a clean and fair election, which entails the timely conduct of pre-election activities, in order to prevent similar issues in the future and to avoid violations of the Court’s lawful orders.
Cebuano English Filipino
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