Petition seeks disqualification of Andales, Arcilla
THE CANDIDACY of two incumbent Cebu City councilors is now the subject of a petition for disqualification and cancellation of their certificates of candidacy (COC).
A certain Allen Canoy of Barangay Apas, Cebu City, asked the Commission on Elections to cancel the COCs filed by Sesinio Andales and Alvin Arcilla, claiming that both are seeking a fourth term, which is not allowed by law.
Andales and Arcilla are seeking reelection under the Bando Osmeña Pundok Kauswagan (BOPK) slate, headed by Mayor Tomas Osmeña for the north district.
Canoy said when Andales and Arcilla were suspended in 2016, the suspension was not permanent because “no vacancy exists and there is the absence of permanent replacements.”
“Thus, it is categorical that suspension whether preventive or imposed as a penalty – cannot interrupt a term of the office holder,” said Canoy.
“Even if Respondents (Arcilla and Andales) served as members of the Sangguniang Panglungsod of the City of Cebu for the terms 2010 to 2013, and 2013 to 2016, and is serving the current 2016 to 2019, (they) cannot legally file for candidacy for a fourth consecutive term for the same position,” he added.
Andales and Arcilla however expressed confidence that the Comelec would rule in their favor.
They insisted that their suspension was an interruption of their second term and thus are qualified to run for another term.
Arcilla said they already anticipated this kind of complaint to surface once they filed their COCs for next year’s elections.
“Before we submitted our COCs, we have been consulting several lawyers on this one. We’ve gone a long process before filing,” Arcilla said.
Andales, a lawyer, said he believes that the points raised by Canoy will not become the basis of cancelling their COCs.
“As far as I’m concerned, there are two requisites (for the cancellation of COCs): three consecutive terms, and no interruption,” said Andales.
“The Supreme Court (SC) made it clear that preventive suspension is not an interruption. But in our case, it was suspension based on the final judgment,” he added.
In April 2016, the Office of the President, under former President Benigno Aquino III, ordered former Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama, Vice Mayor Edgardo Labella and 12 councilors suspended for six months for abuse of authority when they granted themselves and the city’s employees calamity aid of P20,000 each even if they were not victims of the 7.2 magnitude earthquake and super typhoon Yolanda that hit Cebu in 2013.
The Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) served the suspension on May 17, 2016 or eight days after the Presidential elections.
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