Comelec junks disqualification case filed versus Domogan

BAGUIO CITY – The Commission on Elections (Comelec) en banc dinned for lack of merit the motion for reconsideration seeking to reverse a resolution dated January 22, 2015 dismissing the disqualification case filed against re-electionist Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan.

In an 8-page en banc resolution signed by Chairman Andres D. Bautista and Commissioners Christian Robert S. Lim, Al A. Parreno, Louie Tito F. Guia, Arthur D. Lim, Ma. Rowena Amelia V. Guanzon and Sheriff M. Abas, the petition for disqualification filed by Jose M. Molintas against Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan did not present substantial pieces of evidence that would warrant the positive action of the Commission, thus, the subsequent dismissal of the same for lack of merit.

The resolution stated that the commission of the unlawful acts of the respondent should have been committed during the election period pursuant to the provisions of Section 68 of the Omnibus Election code (OEC), otherwise, unlawful acts committed outside the prescribed election period are not considered election offenses.

The commission cited that assuming for arguendo, that the act complained against Domogan constitutes giving of prohibitive donations under Section 104 of the OEC, it is still does not warrant the disqualification of the local chief executive as it was committed outside of the campaign period.

Further, Molintas in his petition admitted that violation of Section 261(o) of the OEC is not a ground for disqualification under Section 68, however, he claims that by using the property of the Lions Club in Burnham Park for free, Domogan committed some other grounds for disqualification under the OEC.

The Commission noted that the allegations that Domogan violated Section 95(d) and Section 68(c) of the OEC were matters that were brought up for the first time in petitioner’s memorandum, as they were never raised in the petition., thus, petitioner should not be allowed to raise new matter ins his memorandum, for the main purpose of the memorandum is merely to expound the previously raised grounds contained in the petition.

“To do so constitutes substantial amendment to the petition, thus, this may only be done with leave of the Commission. For reasons of fair play, justice and due process, this Commission cannot pass upon the said questions,” the resolution stated.

The Commission cited that respondent’s alleged solicitation of the participation of the barangay officials of Irisan is not a ground for his disqualification and contrary to petitioners claim, it cannot be considered as vote-buying.

The resolution asserted that vote-buying is committed when a person has given money or other material consideration to another in order to induce him to vote for against any candidate and in the case filed by the petitioner, the evidence presented against the respondent failed to establish that respondent gave money to the barangay officials of Irisan for the purpose of buying their votes.

“This Commission finds no reason to depart from the assailed resolution of the second division,” the resoluti9on stated.

The en banc resolution was no longer appealed to the Court of Appeals (CA) by the petitioner rendering the same final./Dexter A. See


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