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Nation

SC stops La Union town mayor’s disqualification

Evelyn Macairan, Artemio Dumlao - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — A ruling of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) nullifying the proclamation of Frank Sibuma as mayor of Agoo, La Union cannot yet be implemented.

In a three-page order on Tuesday, the Supreme Court (SC) issued a temporary restraining order (TRO) stopping Stefanie Eriguel-Calongcagon from taking over Sibuma’s post.

The Comelec and Calongcagon’s camp were given 10 days to comment on the petition for a TRO and a motion for special raffle of the case filed by Sibuma.

As ordered by the Comelec, the municipal board of canvassers convened on Tuesday to amend the certificate of canvass of votes and proclaim Calongcagon as winner amid questions over Sibuma’s residency.

Sibuma garnered 21,364 votes against Calongcagon’s 16,603 votes.

Calongcagon’s camp said Sibuma committed material misrepresentation when he claimed to be a resident of Agoo for one year and three months before the May 9 elections when he lives in Aringay town.

Sibuma’s brother Benjamin, the mayor of Aringay, said Frank had reestablished his residence in Agoo, but was not given a certificate of residency by the barangay chairman, who is reportedly a relative of Calongcagon.

Calongcagon is the daughter of former second district lawmaker Sandra Eriguel, who also lost in the May polls. Rep. Dante Garcia, an ally of the Sibumas, defeated the Eriguel matriarch.

The Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) said it received a copy of the SC ruling yesterday.

”The same has been referred to the OSG task force for Comelec cases for study and coordination with the Comelec,” the OSG said. – Neil Jayson Servallos

COMELEC

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