It also voided the Comelec decision to suspend the election for the district and declare the congressional votes as “stray.”
Shirlyn Bañas-Nograles FB Page
SC orders Comelec: Declare Shirlyn Bañas-Nograles winner
Evelyn Macairan (The Philippine Star) - September 23, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Voting 14-0, the Supreme Court has ordered the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to proclaim Shirlyn Bañas-Nograles as winner in the May 13 congressional race for the 1st District of South Cotabato, including General Santos City.

It also voided the Comelec decision to suspend the election for the district and declare the congressional votes as “stray.”

The poll body, in suspending the voting for the district, had cited the lack of time to revise or modify the electoral data in the automated election system with just 38 days to go before the vote.

The problem surfaced after President Duterte signed into law Republic Act 11243, which reapportioned the 1st District and created a lone congressional district for General Santos City. 

But in a nine-page decision – penned by SC Associate Justice Rosemari Carandang and concurred in by Chief Justice Lucas Bersamin and other associate justices except Ramon Paul Hernando – the SC favored the petition filed by Nograles.

They also ordered the Comelec to convene a Special Provincial Board of Canvassers to proclaim her as the winning candidate in the mid-term polls. 

“The elections for the First Legislative District of the Province of South Cotabato scheduled on May 13, 2019 should not have been suspended, and the candidate obtaining the most number of votes for the said position must be proclaimed,” the Sept. 10 ruling read in part. 

It added that the holdover provision of RA 11243 need not apply “since there would already be a newly elected and qualified representative.” 

Despite the Comelec’s order to suspend the elections in the district, there were still votes cast and Nograles garnered 68.55 percent of the votes or 194,929 out of the total 284,351 votes.

COMELEC SHIRLYN BAñAS-NOGRALES
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