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By Frank E. Dosdos, Jr.

The Office of the Solicitor General (OSG), representing the Commission on Elections (COMELEC), filed a Comment before the Supreme Court praying for the denial of the Petition for Certiorari filed by a candidate earlier disqualified by the said Commission for running as a candidate for Mayor of Kauswagan, Lanao del Norte during the May 13, 2013 Local and National Elections.

In its 15-page comment the OSG argued all the issues raised by Rommel C. Arnado in its Petition for Certiorari versus COMELEC and Florante Capitan in G.R. SP No. 210164.

It appears that Petitioner sought to annul and set aside Resolution dated September 6, 2013 of the COMELEC Second Division in the case entitled Florante T. Capitan v. Rommel C. Arnado, docketed as SPA No. 13-309 (DC), disqualifying the Petitioner Rommel C. Arnado from running in the May 13, 2013 elections and the Resolution dated December 9, 2013 of the COMELEC, en banc, denying Petitioner’s Motion for Reconsideration.

The OSG cited the decision of the High Court in Maquiling v. COMELEC where Petitioner was disqualified from running as Mayor of Kauswagan, Lanao del Norte in the May 10, 2010 elections.

The dispositive portion of the said case provides that petitioner is “disqualified from running for any local elective position.”

Another fact stated in the OSG Comment is that on September 6, 2013, the COMELEC Second Division issued the first of its assailed resolutions disqualifying petitioner from running in the May 13, 2013 Elections where the dispositive position of the same states? “WHEREFORE, premises considered the Instant Petition is granted. Respondent Rommel C. Arnado is disqualified from running in the May 13, 2013 National and Local Elections.”

The OSG argued against the four issues raised by Petitioner stating that “the COMELEC did not commit Grave Abuse of Discretion Amounting to Lack or Excess Jurisdiction in not Dismissing the Petition of Private Respondent on the Ground of Forum Shopping and Belated Filing.”

It also argued that “the COMELEC did not violate Petitioner’s Right to Procedural Due Process.”

It also said that “that Petitioner Obtained 84% of the Votes Cast will not Cure his Ineligibility. Neither will his Disqualification Result in the Disenfranchisement of the Voters of Kauswagan, Lanao del Norte.”

It finally argued that ‘The COMELEC did not Commit Grave Abuse of Discretion Amounting to Lack or Excess of Jurisdiction when it Disqualified Petitioner from Running in the 2013 Elections.

The OSG Comment was done in Makati City for the City of Manila, May 20, 2014.

It was signed by Francis H. Jardeliza, Solicitor General, Karl B. Miranda, Assistant Solicitor General and Lester O. Fiel, State Solicitor.

Copies were furnished to Atty. Tomas O. Cabili, Counsel for the Petitioner, Atty. Daud B. Calala, Counsel for Private Respondent and Commission on Elections, Intramuros, Manila.
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