BANGUED, Abra – The Commission on elections (Comelec) en banc declared as final its earlier resolution that denied the motion for reconsideration filed by Rep. Joseph Sto. Nono Bernos and two members of the Philippine National Police (PNP) that sought to reverse an assailed resolution recommending the filing of information against them for violation of the provisions of the Omnibus Election Code on their alleged election-related activities for the May 2013 mid-term elections.
In a 2-page order dated March 11, 2019, Comelec Chairman Sharif Abas stated that despite the affidavit of service signed by Rodrigo V. Basa II, election officer of La Paz, Abra, which stated that the Resolution promulgated on September 14, 2017 that denied the motion for reconsideration of Rep Bernos and his co-accused was deemed served.
Earlier, Dolores Mayor Robert Victor G. Seares, Jr. filed a complaint against Rep. Bernos, PO3 Raymund Palope and PO2 Jithelo Panigan Tuazzon for violation of Section 261 paragraph e, f and y of the Omnibus Election Code for their alleged election-related activities that were committed during the May 2013 mid-term elections.
As to a certain Dante B. Guzman, one of the accused in the said case, the same is deemed dismissed by reason of his death.
Bernos, through counsel, filed a motion for reconsideration on August 30, 2016 praying that the August 1, 2016 resolution recommending the filing of information for violation of the Omnibus election code against them be reversed and set aside, and that a new resolution be rendered reinstating the resolution of the assigned investigator, office of the election Director, Cordillera Administrative Region.
Palope also filed a similar motion for reconsideration on September 1, 2016 assailing the poll body’s August 2, 2016 resolution.
In a certification dated March 12, 2019 issued by Atty. Abigail Justine M. Cuaresma-Lilagan, Acting Clerk of the Commission, it stated that a perusal of the records show that respondent Palope was personally served a copy of the aforementioned resolution on October 4, 2017.
Meanwhile, Basa executed an affidavit of service stating among others the non-service of the copy of Bernos as he could not be located in his given address.
In view of Basa’s affidavit of service, the poll body issued an order dated March 11, 2019 considering respondent Bernos duly served with the Resolution dated September 14, 2017 which denied his motion for reconsideration.
Under existing Comelec rules and regulations, a decision of the resolution of the Commission en banc shall become final and executory after 30 days from its promulgation.
The certification noted that no restraining order has been issued by the Supreme Court (SC) in relation to the September 14, 2017 resolution of the en banc to this date, thus, the same is considered to become final and executory.
Seares filed the election case against Bernos and the law enforcers for alleged threats, intimidation, terrorism, use of fraudulent device or other forms of coercion; coercion of election officials and employees; and falsely certifying or identifying another as a bonafide resident of a particular place or locality for the purpose of securing the latter’s registration as a voter.
Bernos could not be reached for comment on the matter as of press time.