Comelec ends MP gubernatorial post row

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BONTOC, Mountain Province – The 1st Division of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) dismissed a petition filed by a bonafide residents of the province that questioned the qualifications of the daughter of the late Gov. Leonardo G. Mayaen to replace him during the May 2016 synchronized national elections.

In an order dated October 1, 2019, the poll body’s 1st division composed of Presiding Commissioner Al A. Parreno, Senior Commissioner Ma. Rowena Amelia V. Guanzon and Commissioner Marlon S. Casquejo stated that considering that the term of office for the challenged position of Provincial governor of Mountain Province in the instant petition for quo warranto has already expired on June 30, 2019 as a result of the May 2019 local and national elections, it was constrained to dismiss the petition for being moot and academic.

Former Bauko municipal Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) chairman Thomas Tawagen, Jr. against Kathy Jyll G. Mayaen who was supposed to replace his father who was seeking for reelection for the province’s gobernatorial post during the May 2016 national and local elections.

On March 31, 2016, the older Mayaen died after succumbing to a heart attack while preparing for a speaking engagement at the Provincial governor’s Mansion at the capital town.

The order pointed out that the expiration of the challenged term of office renders the corresponding petition moot.

Further, the order quoted a Supreme Court decision in Sales versus Comelec, Rajucos and Benemerito that stipulated that ‘with the expiration of the tenure of the contested mayoralty position subject of this petition on 30 June 2007, no practical or useful purpose would be served by passing on the merit of Sales’ contentions. Court will not determine a moot question in a case in which no practical relief can be granted. It is unnecessary to indulge in academic discussions of a case presenting a moot question, as a judgement thereon cannot have practical legal effect or in the nature of things cannot be enforced.”

Tawagen filed the petition for quo warrant against Mayaen that caused the issuance of a writ of preliminary injunction that prevented her to replace his late father for the province’s gubernatorial position and eventually paved the way for elected Vice governor Bonifacio C. Lacwasan, Jr. to take his oath as the Acting Governor on June 30, 2016 and was able to serve the full term for the said position.

Lacwasan was able to serve as the province’s head for a full term before getting the fresh mandate of the people as the Provincial governor during the May 2019 national and local elections.

The writ of preliminary injunction was issued by the poll body after Tawagen posted a P100,000 cash bond to secure the said injunction.

The order was furnished the parties involved in the case, including the different offices of the Comelec, for their information, guidance, ready reference and further needed action.

By HENT

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