Comelec Division Disqualified Legazpi City Mayor for Violating Spending Ban
The Commission on Election (Comelec) second division disqualified the Legazpi City Mayor Carmen Geraldine Rosal for violating the spending ban.
The Comelec Second Division approved the petition for Carmen Geraldine Rosal, the mayor of Legazpi City, to be disqualified. This relates to the allegation made by councilor candidate Joseph San Juan Armogila that Rosal should be disqualified from the mayoral contest because of a violation of the Omnibus Election Code (OEC).
This is related to the distribution of P2,000 in monetary assistance to older persons and tricycle drivers during the election. This was a result of a Facebook post made by Al Barizo, a different candidate for municipal council, who expressed his appreciation for the backing they had received from the community, especially Rosal.
The Second Division declared in a 22-page resolution that it had no justification for holding Carmen responsible for vote-buying. On the basis of the evidence, the Second Division concluded that Carmen, who was just a candidate, had benefited from the local government unit program since she had participated in the distribution of cash aid with her husband, the mayor-elect.
“We cannot help but conclude that as far as the public, in general, is concerned, there is direct attribution to the Respondent of the cash pay-out masked as a social welfare project,” said the resolution.
“There is the presence of vital components in this case: (1) the project; (2) individual cash pay-outs were distributed; (3) the project was attributed not only to the local government unit but to Respondent as well; and most importantly, she won. Lest it be forgotten, she is a candidate at that time, along with her husband,” they added.
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