What will happen to the cases filed against Arcilla and Andales?
CEBU CITY, Philippines — The cases on the cancellation of the certificate of candidacies against reelected Bando Osmeña-Pundok Kauswagan (BO-PK) councilors Alvin Arcilla and Sisinio Andales pending at the Commission on Elections (Comelec) en banc may change the line up of Cebu City’s North District councilors.
Lawyer Chauncey Boholst, the North District election officer of Cebu City, said that Arcilla and Andales were proclaimed as duly elected councilors on May 14 because by technicality, they are still considered candidates despite the cases against them filed by a certain Allen Canoy.
Canoy argued that since Arcilla and Andales were elected for three successive terms in 2010, 2013 and 2016, they retained their titles and positions even if they were barred from exercising their positions because of the issuance of a suspension order against them.
Arcilla and Andales were among the city officials, who were ordered suspended in 2016, for availing of the P20,000 calamity assistance which the administration of former mayor Michael Rama released to victims of the October 2013 earthquake and November 2013 Super Typhoon Yolanda.
On March 15, 2019, the Comelec First Division ruled that Arcilla “is ineligible to run as (a) Member, Sangguniang Panlungsod, in the First District of Cebu City having been elected and having served, in the same position for three (3) consecutive terms immediately prior to the 13 May 2019 national and local elections.
The same ruling was given to Andales on March 21 =, 2019 by the Comelec Second Division, which said that Andales has already served the maximum three-year term as member of the city council, representing the city’s north district.
Both Andales and Arcilla have already appealed the cases to Comelec en banc.
The appeal renders them both bona fide candidates of the elections, and now bona fide reelected officials.
“If the Comelec en banc affirms the rulings, then the candidates who placed 9th and 10th in the race will take their place,” said Boholst who is referring to candidates Jerry Guardo and Joel Garganera.
On his Facebook page on May 13, Garganera already conceded defeat in his bid to get reelected as city councilor.
“In my 30 years of public service, 3 years of it was spent in serving as your City Councilor in Cebu City – North District… it has been an opportunity and privilege of a lifetime. I may not have made it this time, but I am already beyond grateful for your unwavering trust and support,” said Garganera.
Guardo is yet to give a statement on the election results.
Boholst said that the process may take time and the ruling of the Comelec en banc may not be released even after Arcilla and Andales take their oaths as reelected officials by June 30.
Even with the affirmation of the Comelec en banc that they are ineligible to serve as councilors, the two reelected officials may still appeal to the Supreme Court on their cases. They can still serve as long as there is no final decision on the cases. / celr
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