Tuesday, February 20, 2018
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San Juan mayor’s appeal of recall election order under review

The Commission on Elections said on Tuesday that it was still deliberating on the appeal filed by San Juan Mayor Guia Gomez against a recall election being pushed by her rival’s supporters.

According to Comelec spokesperson, James Jimenez, Gomez’s camp filed a motion for reconsideration only on Jan. 18 or less than a month ago.

“It hasn’t been a month yet and the Comelec will not rush to a decision. The matter is being considered by the Comelec and a ruling will be issued in due time,” he said.

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Jimenez was reacting to claims of supporters of former San Juan Vice Mayor Francis Zamora that the poll body was too slow in resolving Gomez’s motion for reconsideration.

Appeal for patience

“The Comelec assures the parties that the matter is being seriously studied and deliberated [on] as it should be, and that there will be no unnecessary delays,” he said.

The Comelec en banc granted last year the petition of Zamora’s supporters and allowed the conduct of a recall election against Gomez.

The petition filed in September was signed by around 30,000 San Juan residents or more than the required 14,425 signatures.

Meanwhile, five of the signatories have filed a complaint in the Ombudsman against a barangay chair who allegedly forced them to sign blank affidavits last month.

In a six-page complaint, the five Barangay San Perfecto residents accused their chair, Dennis Pardines, of light coercion in violation of Article 287 of the Revised Penal Code, in addition to grave misconduct and conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service.

Abegail de Asis, Danalyn de Asis, Evangeline Ferriol, Joynalyn Collado and Alma Dee claimed that on Jan. 23, Pardines summoned them separately and questioned their participation in the recall election.

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They alleged that despite their refusal, Pardines made them sign blank affidavits containing only their addresses and voter’s numbers.

“Respondent was adamant that it was only a form of acknowledgment of the benefits the complainants had received from himself and from the barangay and was not in any manner meant to change their stance in [the] petition for recall,” they said.

Saying they realized the day after that they had been “deliberately duped,” the complainants said they tried to ask for copies of the blank affidavits to no avail.

No truth to rumors

In an interview, Dee said they filed the complaint after rumors surfaced that they were summoned so they could be bribed.

“We want to assert our rights. We were never paid,” she said.

The barangay chair’s office could not be reached for comment through the phone number listed on the city’s website.

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TAGS: Comelec, Francis Zamora, Guia Gomez, James Jimenez, recall election
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