The Comelec en banc came up with the decision after Arcilla failed to secure a temporary restraining order (TRO) from the Supreme Court within the five-day regulatory period.
Councilor fails to secure tro from SC:Comelec’s final ruling vs Arcilla
Odessa O. Leyson (The Freeman) - June 22, 2019 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — The Commission on Election (Comelec) en banc declared its earlier decision as final and executory disqualifying Cebu City North District Councilor Alvin Arcilla from running for a fresh term in the May 13 elections.

The Comelec en banc came up with the decision after Arcilla  failed  to  secure  a temporary  restraining order (TRO) from the Supreme Court within the five-day regulatory period.

“WHEREAS, the records show that to this date, no restraining order has been issued by the Supreme Court in relation to the 28 May 2019 Resolution of the Commission En Banc,” portion of the en banc’s three-page certificate of finality read.

It cited Rule 18 of the 1993 Comelec Rules of Procedure as amended in Resolution No. 7808 which provides that “decision or resolution of the Commission En Banc is deemed final and executory if no restraining order is issued by the Supreme Court within five (5) days from receipt thereof.”

The counting of five days started upon Arcilla’s receipt of the en banc decision. The copy of the decision was served to his office last June 14.

Finality Signed

Abigail Justine M. Cuaresma-Lilagan, acting clerk of the commission, signed yesterday the certificate of finality with copies furnished to the Department of the Interior and Local Government, Comelec regional director, Comelec provincial election supervisor and Comelec-Cebu City election officer.

The en banc mentioned the decision of First Division that elective officials shall observe the three-term limit rule in public office as provided under Section 8, Article X of the 1987 Constitution and Section 43 (b) of Republic Act No. 7160 or Local Government Code of 1991.

On April 1, Arcilla filed a motion for reconsideration asking the en banc to reverse the decision and declare him as eligible to run for councilor, contending that his term has been interrupted by a suspension.

He was among the officials suspended by the Office of the President in 2016 over the controversial release of calamity assistance to City Hall officials and employees in 2013.

His disqualification stemmed from the case filed by Allen Canoy, a resident in Barangay Apas, who petitioned the poll body to cancel Arcilla’s candidacy since the councilor already consumed his three consecutive terms of office.

Arcilla served as councilor from 2010 to 2013, from 2013 to 2016, and from 2016 to 2019.

Arcilla contended that his service was interrupted when he was suspended from office from May 17, 2016 to June 30, 2016.

However, on May 28, the Comelec en banc affirmed the March 19 resolution of the Comelec First Division disqualifying Arcilla. It also resolved and denied his motion for reconsideration.

“An interruption occurs when the term is broken because the office holder lost the right to hold on his office, and cannot be equated with the failure to render service. The latter occurs during an office holder’s term when he retains title to the office but cannot exercise his functions for reasons established by law,” portion of en banc decision read.

Motion For Execution

Comelec-Cebu City North District election officer Marchel Sarno said it is now the right time for Canoy to file a motion for execution before the Comelec en banc.

 “Kay wala man sila (camp of Arcilla) ka-secure og TRO, ang buhaton ana sa petitioner is motion for execution para i-execute ang decision,” he said.

Sarno said the petitioner can only ask for an execution of the decision in order to proclaim the ninth councilor, who is outgoing Councilor Jerry Guardo.

Under the rules and procedures, Arcilla will be replaced with a candidate who ranked closest to the eighth elected councilor.

But Sarno said once the en banc granted the motion of execution, Comelec-Cebu City will be waiting for an order to reconstitute the board of canvassers.

“Magpaabot ta og order sa Comelec…Probably ang order diha, mag-reconstitute og board of canvassers, it’s up to Comelec, kinsa ang mga members,” he said.

The FREEMAN tried to get the side of Arcilla as well as his lawyer, Winefredo Orcullo, but received no answer as of press time.

No TRO Granted

Last Wednesday, Orcullo filed Arcilla's appeal before the Supreme Court (SC) with a prayer of the issuance of TRO. But according to the en banc, no TRO has been issued by the high court.  —  LPM (FREEMAN)

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