BAGUIO CITY – The Commission on Elections (COMELEC) en banc dismissed the petition for disqualification filed by Atty. Jose M. Molintas, the losing mayoralty candidate in the May 2013 mid-term elections, against incumbent Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan for lack of merit.
In a certificate of finality issued by Acting Clerk Atty. Abigail Justine M. Cuaresma-Lilagan dated September 29, 2017, the poll body decided to uphold the resolution promulgated on October 19, 2015 which dismissed the disqualification case filed against Domogan and declared the same final and executory.
It can be recalled that the Commission 2nd Division promulgated a resolution for the disqualification case filed by Molintas against Domogan during the May 2013 mid-term elections on January 22, 2015 wherein the dispositive portion reads, “WHEREFORE, premises considered, the Commission resolves, as it is hereby resolves to a. dismiss the petition for disqualification filed by Molintas against Domogan for lack of merit and b. refer the matter to the law department in coordination with the campaign finance unit of this Commission to determine whether there was a violation of the Omnibus election code and other relevant laws, rules and regulations.”
Molintas filed a motion for reconsideration on February 17, 2015 praying that judgement be rendered reconsidering, reversing and setting aside the resolution of the 2nd division promulgated on January 22, 2015 and that a new one be entered immediately disqualifying Domogan as candidate for mayor of Baguio City.
A resolution dated October 19, 2015 denied the motion for reconsideration for lack of merit and affirmed the January 22, 2015 resolution of the 2nd division.
Records show Atty. Cerefino W. Banson, Jr., counsel for the petitioner, was served a copy of the resolution through registered mail on November 6, 2015 as per Registry Receipt No. 006637.
Further, a certain Robert Quizon received the said mail matter for the former on November 13, 2015 based on the certification executed by Bernardo C. Cub-aron, postmaster assigned at the Baguio City post office.
The Commission en banc cited paragraph 2, Section 8 of Resolution No. 9523 in relation to Section 14 (b), Rule 18 of the 1993 COMELEC rules of procedure as amended by Resolution No. 7808 provides that a decision or resolution of the en banc shall become final and executory if no restraining order is issued by the Supreme Court within 5 days from its promulgation.
Domogan welcomed the latest decision on the long pending disqualification case which was filed against him, saying that the Commission already made a firm statement on the case, thus, there is a need for him to reciprocate the trust and confidence bestowed to him by the electorate of the city by working extra hard in finding the appropriate and timely solutions to the city’s pressing problems for the benefit of the greater majority of the populace in the city’s 128 barangays.
By Dexter A. See