In an eight-page resolution dated February 20, the Comelec First Division ruled to dismiss the separate petitions of former politician now lawyer Edgar Gica, a staunch critic of the Garcias, and of Norma Puzon, a resident of Liloan town, for some reasons.
Gwendolyn Garcia FB Page
Comelec allows Garcia to run
May B. Miasco (The Freeman) - February 22, 2019 - 12:00am

‘No proof dismissal is final’

CEBU, Philippines — The Commission on Elections has rejected the petitions to cancel the candidacy of Cebu Third District Rep. Gwendolyn Garcia, who is running for governor.

In an eight-page resolution dated February 20, the Comelec First Division ruled to dismiss the separate petitions of former politician now lawyer Edgar Gica, a staunch critic of the Garcias, and of Norma Puzon, a resident of Liloan town, for some reasons.

In a statement, Garcia welcomed the decision.

“I am thankful that the Comelec has dismissed the flimsy and unmeritorious disqualification cases filed by Gica and Puzon against me. Justice has been served. And I thank the Lord for His continued protection against my political persecutors,” she said.

The Comelec stated that the petitioners were unable to prove having the requisite legal standing to file the case.

“The petition must be dismissed. At the outset, it bears emphasizing that petitioners both failed to allege their precinct numbers or to submit their individual voter registration record or Voter's ID,” part of the resolution reads.

Comelec also argued that the petitioners failed to show or present substantial evidence that the decision of the Office of the Ombudsman removing Garcia from public office has become final.

It also found out that from the records, Garcia was able to file a petition for review before the Court of Appeals (CA) for the same case.

“Puzon even admitted this fact in her pleadings. Unfortunately for petitioners, no evidence was presented to prove that such petition was ruled upon adversely against [Garcia]... The petition for review, therefore, is pending resolution and has yet to attain finality,” the decision reads.

Comelec underscored that Garcia's pending petition for review with the CA bars the commission from “pronouncing with certainty that [Garcia] is possessed of an ineligibility or disqualification that would warrant the cancellation of her COC (certificate of candidacy).”

“In sum, for petitioners’ failure to prove that the Ombudsman decision dismissing [Garcia] from the government service... has become final and executory, there is no basis to hold that [Garcia] committed material representation in her COC when she declared therein that she is eligible for the position she is seeking to be elected to.”

The order was signed by Commissioner Al Parreño, Comelec's acting chairperson, and by commissioners Ma. Rowena Amelia Guanzon and Marlon Casquejo.

The petitioners earlier accused Garcia of committing alleged material misrepresentation when she filed her COC last October 12 as a gubernatorial aspirant in the May 13 elections.

On October 22, Puzon and Gica filed before Comelec the petition to deny due course to or to cancel or deny Garcia’s COC, in view of her dismissal from service as ordered by the Ombudsman office.

Both alleged in their respective petitions that Garcia’s declaration in her COC of being eligible for the position she is running for is “false.”

Petitioners said that in a December 2017 decision of the Ombudsman, Garcia was dismissed from government service after being found guilty of grave misconduct.

Both asserted that the decision was later affirmed in a July 2018 order denying Garcia's motion for reconsideration and supplemental motion for reconsideration.

Garcia, in her December 2018 answer to both petitions, maintained that she is eligible to run for the position and countered that there was no false representation indicated in her COC.

She stated that after Ombudsman denied her motion for reconsideration, she filed before CA a petition for review questioning the office's decision and order. This petition for review remains pending before the CA. (FREEMAN)

GWENDOLYN GARCIA
Philstar
  • Latest
Latest
Are you sure you want to log out?
X
Login

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

SIGN IN
or sign in with