Comelec disqualifies Cebu City mayoralty candidate
Jean Marvette A. Demecillo (The Freeman) - February 12, 2019 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — The Commission on Elections has classified mayoralty aspirant Paulino Osmeña, Jr. a nuisance candidate.

Comelec granted the petition of Mayor Tomas Osmeña to cancel Paulino’s Certificate of Candidacy, saying Paulino “does not have a bona fide intention to run for the office for which his certificate of candidacy has been filed.”

The mayor said earlier that the similarity between his and Paulino’s surnames will cause “confusion among the voters” in Cebu City.

Commissioner Luie Tito Guia of the Comelec Second Division said Paulino’s candidacy “prevents a faithful determination of the true will of the electorate.”

While Paulino claimed he has genuine desire to serve the city, Guia said he failed to state other means of livelihood or sources of funds to support his city-wide campaign, considering that he is an independent candidate.

Paulino is a musician.

“Thus, in order to protect the aforementioned compelling State interest, which is to ensure that the upcoming electoral exercises are rational, objective and orderly, this Commission must grant the petition,” Guia’s ruling reads.

Section 69 of the Omnibus Election Code states that “the Commission may motu proprio or upon a verified petition of an interested party, refuse to give due course to or cancel a certificate of candidacy if it is shown that said certificate has been filed to put the election process in mockery or disrepute or to cause confusion among the voters by the similarity of the names of the registered candidates or by other circumstances or acts which clearly demonstrate that the candidate has no bona fide intention to run for the office for which the certificate of candidacy has been filed and thus prevent a faithful determination of the true will of the electorate.”

With Paulino out, it will now be a four-way fight for mayor in Cebu City among Tomas, Vice Mayor Edgardo Labella, John Edwin Dayondon, and Junry Concepcion.

Cebu City North District Election Officer Marchel Sarno said he received a copy of the ruling last week.

“While Mr. Paulino Osmeña was included in the final list, ang sulti nila is final list siya but without prejudice kon naay disqualification,” Sarno told The FREEMAN.

If Paulino’s name is still in the official ballot, the votes that he will get will be considered stray votes, which will not be counted.

Meanwhile, Sarno said the commission is set to decide on the disqualification cases against candidates for Cebu City councilors Sisinio Andales, Alvin Arcilla, Ian Anthony Osmeña, and Sherwin Luie Abella.

In October 2018, Allen Canoy, a registered voter of Barangay Apas, asked the Comelec to cancel the Certificate of Candidacy of Andales and Arcilla.

Arcilla and Andales have already served three terms – 2010-2013; 2013-2016; 2016-2019.

Canoy said the candidacy of Arcilla and Andales violates a provision in the 1987 Philippine Constitution and Local Government Code, which states that “no local elective official shall serve for more than three consecutive terms in the same position.”

Incumbent Councilor Renato Osmeña, Jr. has asked Comelec to declare Ian Anthony Osmeña, an independent bet, as nuisance candidate while another councilatorial bet, Atty. Marie Velle Abella, asked for the disqualification of Sherwin Luie Abella. (FREEMAN)

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