Comelec en banc issues certificate of finality on Andales’ cancellation of COC
CEBU CITY, Philippines – The Commission on Elections (Comelec) en banc on Thursday, July 4, 2019, has issued a Certificate of Finality over its decision to cancel the Certificate of Candidacy of Cebu City North District Councilor Sisinio Andales from the May 2019 midterm elections.
In an order dated July 4, 2019, the Comelec en banc promulgated that their affirmation of the decision of the Comelec Second Division that Andales can no longer run for the May 2019 elections after serving three consecutive terms, is final and executory after Andales failed to get a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) from the Supreme Court.
The en banc first released their decision on June 27, 2019, and Andales was given five days to get a TRO from the Supreme Court to appeal the case.
Andales, in previous statements, said that he will appeal the case to the Supreme Court as the last attempt, but five days after the promulgation of the Comelec en banc’s decision, Andales still failed to get a TRO.
Comelec North District Cebu City, Lawyer Marchel Sarno, said the Certificate of Finality means that the disqualification of Andales can be executed by the en banc and he may no longer sit in office.
Former Councilor Joel Garganera, who wound up 10th place in the recent elections, is in line to take Andales’ place after 9th placer Councilor Jerry Guardo was proclaimed to replace Councilor Alvin Arcilla, who was also disqualified by Comelec for the same reason.
Sarno said Comelec Cebu City has not received the certificate of finality from the en banc yet but even with this, they will have to wait for a writ of execution before they can execute the en banc’s decision.
In the case the en banc will order the execution of the decision, Andales will have to step down from office.
However, even if he already steps down from office, Andales can still appeal the case to the Supreme Court, the highest court of the land with the sole authority to reverse the decision of the Comelec en banc.
Andales said in a text message to the media that he has not received the decision yet but said he will continue his appeal at the Supreme Court.
“There is now a pending Petition for Review before the Supreme Court and I am waiting for my reliefs. However, the Supreme Court is not bound by the five-day notice of finality of its Comelec decision. Hoping that merits of my petition will be giving due course. I will go back to my law office meanwhile waiting for the merits of my petition. My lawyer on records will receive the copy of decision,” said Andales in a text message.
Andales said he will still be attending the first regular session of the council on Tuesday, July 9, as he filed his first proposed ordinance, which he said will be tackled in the Council. /bmjo
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