SC allows poll bets disqualified for using old COC form to run in election
MANILA, Philippines — Local candidates disqualified by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) for using the old form of the certificate of candidacy (COC) were able to run in the May 13 elections.
The high court issued a status quo ante order against the Comelec ruling on May 10 but made public only on Tuesday
A status quo ante order (SQAO) means that the situation prior to the disqualification order shall be observed. SQAO will remain while the case is pending.
The petitioners who sought relief before the high court are Nicolas Ponsica Jr. and Merly Iroma, candidates for councilor in Escalante City, Negros occidental; and Shirley Aala, also a candidate for councilor in Tagum City, Davao del Norte.
“Considering the allegations contained, the issues raised and the arguments adduced in the petitions, it is necessary and proper to issue a status quo ante order requiring the parties to observe the status quo prevailing before the issuance of Comelec en banc Minute Resolution No. 19-0826 issued last March 6, 2019,” the order read.
The court also ordered the Comelec to respond to the petition within 10 days.
The ruling was issued upon orders of Chief Justice Lucas Bersamin and based on recommendations by the justices in charge of the cases since the court is currently on recess.
Last week, the SC issued SQAs to similar cases, including that of Baguio City mayoralty candidate lawyer Edgar Avila.
In the resolution, the poll body invalidated the candidacy of poll bets who used the “old format” in filing their COCs.
The old form does not have Item No. 22, which asks candidates if they have been disciplined, found guilty, or has pending criminal or administrative cases. (Editor: Eden Estopace)
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