Proclamation of winning candidates suspended in 3 areas in Cebu
CEBU CITY, Philippines – The proclamation of some winning candidates for the Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections (BSKE) in three areas in Cebu has been suspended.
The Commission on Elections in Central Visayas (Comelec-7) confirmed on Tuesday, October 31, 2023, the suspensions of proclamation for three winning candidates from Balamban town, Carcar City, and Mandaue City.
They are Anthony John Apura as Barangay Captain in Valladolid, Carcar City; Gian Vincent Sinda as Sangguniang Kabataan Councilor for Brgy. Buanoy in Balamban; and Eduardo Gumera as Barangay Captain in Maguikay, Mandaue City.
All three candidates emerged as winners in their respective races, said lawyer Lionel Marco Castillano, Comelec- 7 director.
But since they all face disqualification cases before Comelec En Banc, the agency’s quasi-judicial body, they cannot be proclaimed as winners yet, added Castillano.
READ MORE: LIST: Barangay election winners in Cebu City
As to how long will the suspension take effect, there is no definite timeline.
According to lawyer Joaquin Niccolo Fernandez, in a separate interview, they will wait for the decision of the Comelec En Banc before proceeding to take the next steps.
“The disqualification cases direcho na sa Manila, we (Comelec-7) have no jurisdiction over that. In order to determine what will happen for their disqualification, we will have to wait for the order from Manila,” he added.
In turn, the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) is expected to fill the vacuum as the cases are being tried and heard, Fernandez pointed out.
“For now, bakante pa… What will happen is naa lang i-appoint nga OIC (officer-in-charge) so that maka-function gihapon ang office (and that is) the jurisdiction of DILG,” he explained.
Comelec-7 earlier announced that they have issued suspensions of proclamation to four candidates of the BSKE in Central Visayas due to pending disqualification cases.
Aside from three in Cebu, the fourth is Mercedita Uy, who ran for Barangay Captain in Cancawas in San Jose town, Negros Oriental, based on Comelec-7 data.
Sought for their comments, Gumera said he has already consulted with his lawyers to find legal remedies in addressing the suspension of his proclamation.
The barangay captain also said he has yet to receive a letter from the Comelec for a notice to explain the disqualification complaints and suspension of proclamation.
“Akoang mga bogado na ang bahala ana,” he said.
In addition, Gumera denied the allegations hurled against them by his political opponents who accused him of molesting a 15-year-old girl last year, which in turn served as basis for the disqualification case lodged against him.
“Wala tawn oy. Dili na tanan tinuod ang ilaha’ng alegasyun. Butang nga wala man koy gi-commit nga child prostitution, buhat-buhat ra man to ila’ng tanan para lang gyud ang mga tawo malipat ba kahibaw ka politika,” he said.
“Unya karun kay wala man nagpalipat ang mga tawo kay nakita man sa mga tawo nga kini’ng ilaha’ng gitamas-tamasan tarun man, tarong man ta unya ako poy tigtabang sa mga katawhan dinhi sa barangay, o tan-awa unsay naresulta karun,” he added.
Meanwhile, in Brgy. Valladolid, Carcar City where Apura emerged as the winner, he thanked residents there for their ‘unwavering support.’
Apura has since issued statements following Comelec’s notice to suspend his proclamation in the BSKE 2023, which his camp already received.
“Walay ground ang Comelec mo disqualify kanako tungod kay ang akong kaso niadtong 2001 wala pa na final and executory ug under motion for reconsideration pa sa korte,” Apura wrote on Facebook.
CDN Digital has also reached out to Sinda for his comments, who replied that his camp will issue its official statement soon.
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