Comelec bars Batangas town mayor from 4th termBy Marrah Erika Lesaba
Inquirer Southern Luzon
BATANGAS CITY—The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has disqualified the incumbent town mayor of San Pascual, Batangas, from seeking reelection in May for exceeding his term limit.
The Comelec second division, in a six-page resolution dated Jan. 28, ordered the certificate of candidacy of Mayor Antonio Dimayuga canceled because he is no longer qualified to run for the same office since he is now serving his third consecutive and last term as mayor of San Pascual.
While Dimaguya served only the latter part of his first term when he won his election protest, it could still be counted as his first term, according to the ruling signed by the division’s presiding Commissioner Lucenito Tagle and Commissioners Elias Yusoph and Maria Gracia Cielo Padaca.
The petition was filed by Antonio Tabares Jr., a registered voter of San Pascual town, who had pointed out that Dimayuga had already served his first term when he took over from unseated Mayor Mario Magsaysay Jr. in 2006.
Dimayuga ran for mayor in the May 2004 elections. After the counting and canvass of votes, Magsaysay was proclaimed winner. Dimayuga filed an election protest which he won.
Dimayuga took his oath of office on Oct. 4, 2006, and started serving as mayor. In the 2007 and 2010 elections, Dimayuga again ran and won as municipal mayor.
Tabares said in his petition that allowing Dimayuga to seek a fresh term in May would be a violation of the three-term limit for local officials set in the Constitution and the Local Government Code.
Dimayuga said he could not be considered as having served a full first term since he actually performed the functions of mayor only on March 27, 2007, or barely two months before the 2007 elections.