Comelec junks Esquivel bid to overturn order to reinstate rival as mayor of Ecija town
JAEN, Nueva Ecija—The Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Monday (Feb. 15) dismissed the motion for reconsideration filed by sitting Mayor Antonio Prospero Esquivel to stop the reinstatement of his political rival.
In a resolution signed by presiding Commissioner Socorro Inting and senior member Antonio Kho Jr., the Comelec’s Second Division said the poll body has authority to issue provisional remedies to “prevent irreparable injury or preserve the rights of the parties.”
Esquivel had sought the reversal of the Comelec’s Feb. 3, order directing the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) to implement a temporary restraining order (TRO) or status quo ante order that would reinstate ousted Mayor Sylvia Mayor Austria.
Austria voluntarily stepped down from the post in December 2020 after a local court declared her victory in the May 2019 elections as “null and void” following the electoral protest of Esquivel.
Esquivel insisted that Comelec has no jurisdiction over the local court’s order and that the TRO or status quo order “trampled upon his right to due process.”
But the Comelec stressed it had the power to issue a writ of certiorari in aid of its “appellate jurisdiction.”
By afternoon of Tuesday (Feb. 15), the DILG has yet to implement the Comelec order.
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