Comelec reverses ruling on Tarlac poll dispute
Ding Cervantes (The Philippine Star) - December 3, 2014 - 12:00am

SAN FERNANDO, Pampanga, Philippines – A week after the Commission on Elections (Comelec) upheld Mayor Miguel Rivilla as mayor of Paniqui, Tarlac, the poll body reversed its decision.

Comelec Commissioner Lucenito Tagle on Nov. 28 signed an order declaring that Rommel David, whom Rivilla defeated in the last elections, could stay on as mayor of Paniqui.

David, backed by the local police, occupied the third floor of the town hall last Oct. 28 after the court declared him as the true winner in the May 13 elections.

On Nov. 12, Tagle and the other members of the Comelec’s First Division issued a resolution declaring Rivilla as the legitimate mayor.

The Comelec nullified a court decision issued in October that declared David as the elected mayor based on a vote recount.

Trouble broke out at the Paniqui town hall last Nov. 14 when Rivilla’s supporters, encouraged by the Comelec’s Nov. 12 decision, sought David’s ouster from the town hall, said Rivilla’s aide Manly Garcia.

“David stepped down, leaving some parts of the municipal hall damaged, and everything returned to normal,” Garcia said.

Rivilla’s supporters gathered anew at the municipal hall yesterday after learning that the Comelec had reversed its decision.

Tagle said on Nov. 19, David appealed the Comelec decision and could therefore stay on as mayor of Paniqui.

COMELEC COMELEC COMMISSIONER LUCENITO TAGLE FIRST DIVISION MANLY GARCIA MAYOR MIGUEL RIVILLA ON NOV PANIQUI RIVILLA ROMMEL DAVID TAGLE
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