Age does matter where politics is concerned.
A congressional candidate in Marinduque is now facing a disqualification case at the Commission on Elections (Comelec) for apparently making false representations about herself, including her age, in her certificate of candidacy (COC).
In his petition, Joseph Socorro Tan, a registered voter of Torrijos, Marinduque, asked the Comelec to deny due course or cancel the COC filed by Regina Ongsiako Reyes, saying Reyes’ candidacy for Marinduque’s lone seat in the House of Representatives is a violation of the Constitution and the Omnibus Election Code.
One of the reasons cited by Tan for Reyes’ disqualification was her statement in her COC that her birth date is June 3, l964.
“This is a false material representation as her birthday is July 8, 1959 as reflected in the Precinct Computerized Voter’s List of Barangay 0084A for Barangay Lupac,” Tan said in his petition.
Tan also cited the personal profile of Reyes’ mother, incumbent Gov. Carmencita Reyes, stating that the respondent’s birth date is July 3, 1960.
“If it is true that the birth date of the respondent is July 3, 1964 as reflected in her COC, then she was only 18 years old when she graduated from law school and 19 years old when she passed the bar examinations … this is impossible,” he said.
“Respondent made a false material representation in her COC with respect to her birth date and for which her COC should be denied due course or canceled,” he added.
Tan also said that Reyes’ COC should be canceled because she acquired US citizenship sometime in 2005 and was issued a US passport.
“[She] is not eligible to run for Congress due to the fact that she has not properly renounced her foreign citizenship. She is both an American and a Filipino citizen. As such, before running for Congress, she must, through positive acts … take an oath of allegiance in accordance with Republic Act 9225 or the Citizenship Retention Act,” Tan said in his petition.
Apart from the issue on citizenship, Tan said there were also several grounds for the poll body to deny due course or cancel the COC filed by Reyes.
Tan alleged that Reyes committed false material representations in her COC, particularly regarding her civil status and residence.
He said Reyes stated in her COC that she is single when she is legally married to incumbent Rep. Herminaldo Mandanas of Batangas.
“She expressly admitted that she is the wife of the said lawmaker as she is presently the legal counsel of the Congressional Spouses Foundation. She also admitted her marriage to Congressman Mandanas in the directory of congressional spouses where she represented herself as Atty. Regina R. Mandanas, ‘wife of Rep. Herminaldo Mandanas’,” Tan said.
He added that in many social and civic gatherings in Marinduque, Reyes introduced Rep. Mandanas as her spouse.