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Cebu News

Comelec denies petitions to disqualify Lagon, son

Gregg M. Rubio - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines —  The Commission on Elections (COMELEC) has denied the petitions to cancel the certificates of candidacy of Daphne Arias Lagon for congress in the sixth district of Cebu and her 22-year-old son, Dason Larenz Lagon, for councilor of the Municipality of Cordova.

In separate resolutions both dated January 18, 2022, the First Division of the COMELEC presided over by Commissioner Ma. Rowena Amelia Guanzon with members, Commissioners Marlon Casquejo and Aimee Ferolino, junked the petition filed by a certain Milona Amores Espra, a resident of Sitio Tumoy, Barangay Gabi, Cordova, questioning the residency of the Lagons at Block 13 Lot 17 Dakota St., Golden Meadows, of the said barangay.

Espra said that Daphne materially misrepresented herself when she stated in her CoC that she has been a resident of Brgy. Gabi for a period of one year and six months up to the day before the May 9, 2022 national elections.

Daphne in her verified answer stated that while she previously registered as voter in Tuburan, Cebu, she ceased to be a voter of the town after she transferred her voter’s registration to Gabi, Cordova on September 1, 2021 that was approved by the Election Registration Board of Cordova on October 18, 2021.

The Lagons had acquired the property as early as October 2020 as certified by Gabi Brgy. Captain Maria Belma Tumulak on August 27, 2021.

“Upon review of the evidence on record, we hold that respondent has adequately proven that her domicile is indeed in Golden Meadows Subdivision in Cordova, Cebu. Conversely, the evidence presented by petitioner is just too meager and shallow to substantiate the allegations contained in it-and pales in comparison to the evidence presented by the respondent to controvert the same,” read the Comelec resolution.

The poll body also took cognizance of the certifications issued by all the 13 barangay captains that Daphne has, indeed, been a resident of Cordova since October 2020.

On the other hand, Espra also contended that Dason’s material representation about his residency is false when the latter claimed to have been a resident of Cordova for 21 years, which runs counter with the one-year period of residency that he declared in his CoC.

The commissioners, however, said that petitioner’s comparison of the declaration in the CoC and the voter’s certificate is misplaced, adding that CoC and voter’s certificate are two different documents and the declaration on the latter cannot be made a subject of a petition.

“With the purchase of the Golden Meadows property on 30 November 2020, it is not uncanny for respondent to have resided in the Municipality of Cordova for the period declared therein,” read a separate resolution.

It added that for petition to deny due course or cancel the CoC of one candidate to prosper, the candidate must have made a material misrepresentation involving his eligibility or qualification for the office to which he seeks election, such as the requisite residency, age, citizenship or any other legal qualification necessary to run for local elective office as provided in the Local Government Code.

It further said that it must also be supported with evidence and not merely grounded on the disparity of declarations with other documents not entirely equivalent to a filed certificate of candidacy. — FPL (FREEMAN)

COMELEC

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