SC OKs recall election in Puerto Princesa
MANILA, Philippines – The Supreme Court on Tuesday paved the way for the conduct of recall election in Puerto Princesa, Palawan as it dismissed the petition filed by its mayor, Lucilo Bayron.
Last year, the high court, voting unanimously, ordered the Commission on Election to conduct recall election against Bayron as it set aside two resolutions of the poll body that suspended all recall proceedings in the country, including that of Puerto Princesa, citing lack of funds to carry out such move.
The high court said the poll body committed grave abuse of discretion when it issued Resolution Nos. 9864 and 9882 that suspended all recall proceedings in the country as it explained that the “2014 General Appropriations Act provides the appropriation to allow the Comelec to perform its Constitutional mandate.
Then, Bayron filed a petition raising a question of whether the one-year limitation of a recall election under the Local Government Code should be counted from the filing of the petition or from the conduct of the recall election itself.
In its recent ruling, the high court said the issue of the sufficiency of the recall elections for Mayor of Puerto Princesa had been passed upon with finality.
“The sufficiency of the recall election is one of the necessary incidents [in its previous ruling]; in ordering the immediate conduct of the recall elections against Mayor Bayron, the Court had in the previous case already passed upon and affirmed the validity of the recall petition,” high court’s Information Chief Theodore Te said at a press conference Tuesday.
The recall petition against Bayron was signed by 40, 409 registered voters of Puerto Princesa. Only 19, 335 signatures are needed for the recall to proceed.
The poll body in Resolution 9864 issued last April 2014 certified the sufficiency of Alroben Goh’s petition but it decided to suspend any proceeding, including the conduct of recall elections, citing lack of funding.
In May 2014, the poll body issued another resolution (Resolution 9882) suspending all proceedings on recall petitions until the budgetary issue is resolved.