Void Mitra victory, SC urged

MANILA, Philippines—The Supreme Court has been asked to nullify the proclamation of Palawan governor-elect Abraham Mitra since he had been disqualified by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) prior to the May 10 polls for failure to meet residency requirements.

Palawan residents Antonio Gonzales and Orlando Balbon Jr., who had questioned Mitra’s qualifications before the Comelec, this time pressed their case in the high court, saying that Mitra violated election laws and should be disqualified despite winning the gubernatorial race.

In a supplemental comment filed with the tribunal on May 26, Gonzales and Balbon cited a Supreme Court ruling that nullified the proclamation of a mayor who won election in 2007 and who had been earlier disqualified by the Comelec.

They pointed out that the high court had unanimously held that a winning candidate’s “disqualification must stand because the rule of law, as framed by Congress representing the national will, must prevail over the will of the people in a given locality.”
The Comelec disqualified Mitra as a gubernatorial candidate despite his having been a three-term congressman representing the second district of Palawan after he failed to support his claim that he was now a resident of Aborlan town.

As a representative he had lived in Puerto Princesa City but the city is a separate entity from the province of Palawan which he will serve as governor, according to those opposed to him.

Mitra continued his campaign for governor after he was able to secure a status quo order from the Supreme Court three days before May 10, which in effect stayed the Comelec’s disqualification order.

Source: Inquirer


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