In Taytay, recall move vs mayor thrown out
SAN PEDRO CITY—The Commission on Elections (Comelec) junked a recall petition filed against the mayor of Taytay town in Rizal province, after the petitioners failed to meet the required number of signatures to push the recall move.
In a four-page resolution on Feb. 12, the Comelec en banc certified “the insufficiency of the petition for recall” filed by Milagros Medina Monis against Taytay Mayor Janet de Leon-Mercado.
Monis, a registered voter of Taytay, acted as the main petitioner for the recall election of Mercado, a first-term mayor. The petition was filed on Jan. 30 on grounds of “loss of trust and confidence.”
But in a copy of the Comelec resolution that the Taytay government received on Tuesday, Jose M. Tolentino Jr., head of the Comelec Office of the Deputy Executive Director for Operations (Odedo), said the petitioners were found to have failed to comply with requirements of the rules on recall.
The rules require petitioners to be registered voters and the number of petitioners to be at least 15 percent of the voting population.
Taytay, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority, has a voting population of 178,006.
A count made by the Taytay election office showed 27,431 signatures, which was 15.4 percent of 178,006.
However, Taytay election officer Rhodora Yanes said in her Feb. 3 memorandum that some of the signatures “do not contain names, barangay names and addresses” that are also required by the rules on recall.
A review by Comelec’s Odedo of the signature sheets also found incomplete addresses and names without signatures.
The Odedo, said the Comelec resolution, counted a total of 24,025 names with signatures and addresses but these are less than 15 percent of the required number of petitioners for the recall petition to move forward.
In a phone interview on Wednesday, Mercado said the Comelec resolution showed the petition against her was insufficient in both form and substance.
It was insufficient in form because it failed to generate the required number of valid signatures and insufficient in substance because “how could they claim that (the people) lost their trust in me?” said Mercado.
Mercado said Taytay’s income from business taxes alone increased by P12.5 million from 2013 to 2014. “I don’t think people would pay their taxes if they did not have confidence in whoever is in office,” the mayor said.
Mercado was two-term vice mayor before she ran and won as mayor in the 2013 elections against Joan Gacula, wife of former Taytay Mayor Joric Gacula.