Comelec disqualifies Sherwin Abella as Cebu City Council bet, but not all his votes may go to Amay

By: Delta Dyrecka Letigio August 31,2019 - 12:51 PM

Atty. Maria Velle Abella

CEBU CITY, Philippines — The Commission on Election (Comelec) First Division has ruled with finality that Sherwin Luie Abella, who ran for councilor in Cebu City’s south district, has been disqualified for being a nuisance candidate.

The decision, promulgated  by the poll body on August 30, 2019, gave the petitioner, Marie Velle “Amay” Abella, a candidate of the Bando Osmeña-Pundok Kauswagan (BO-PK), a chance to be part of the Cebu City Council if she manages to unseat  Councilor Philip Zafra of the Barug-PDP Laban, who garnered  115, 292 votes in the May 2019 elections.

In the last elections, Amay garnered 110, 131 votes, which means she would need at least 5,162 votes to unseat Zafra from the council.

There is a catch, however, as the Comelec ruled that not all of the 20, 262 votes garnered by Sherwin in the elections could go to Amay.

If the voter voted for both Amay and Sherwin,  this vote will not be credited to Amay. If the voter only voted for Sherwin, the vote will automatically be credited to Amay, said the decision, a copy of which was furnished to CDN Digital by Amay’s camp on Saturday, August 31.

“There will be another process to be done, it’s checking the ballots. And if ballot shows that only Sherwin was voted, it will be credited to me, but if its shows that both us were voted, no credit of votes for me,” affirmed Amay in a text message to CDN Digital.

This process will take some time, as the transfer of votes will mean a recounting of the ballots, and the Comelec First Division is yet to release a writ of execution on the transfer of votes to Amay.

Councilor Zafra, when reached for comment on Saturday, said he was not worried about Sherwin’s disqualification as this did not automatically mean that the votes would go to Amay.

He said the final and executory decision of Comelec only pertained to the disqualification of Sherwin and not on the transfer of votes to Amay.

If Amay unseats Zafra as the 8th south district councilor, this will raise the number of BO-PK councilors from six to seven.

Amay filed her Certificate of Candidacy (COC) for councilor of Cebu City’s south district on October 15, 2018. The next day, Sherwin also filed his COC as an independent candidate.

On October 22, 2018, Amay filed a petition asking the Comelec to disqualify Sherwin for being a nuisance candidate, alleging that the latter only sought to be elected  “to put the election process in mockery and disrepute or cause confusion among the voters by the similarity of the Petitioner and Respondent’s surname.”

But while both the petitioner and the respondent share the same surname, the First Division learned that Sherwin, an independent candidate in the May polls, did not even have a known profession or job. Also, the decision could not be served on him since the address he listed in his COC could not be found.

“This all the more prove that Respondent does not have a bona fide intention to run for Member, Sangguniang Panlungsod of the 2nd District of Cebu City,”  said the Comelec First Division’s decision. /elb

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TAGS: Amay Abella, Comelec disqualifies Sherwin Abella, Comelec First Division rulings, May 2019 elections, May 2019 elections nuisance candidates, nuisance candidates in Cebu City, Sherwin Abella

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