Comelec orders Lucena mayor to step down
The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has ordered Lucena City Mayor Barbara Ruby Talaga to vacate the post after it earlier ruled that she was not qualified to run in the May 2010 elections.
In a four-page order dated June 15, the Comelec en banc [all the commissioners] instructed Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo and Calabarzon regional election director Johnny Icaro to enforce the writ of execution against Talaga.
“Now, therefore, the commission resolves to grant the urgent motion for immediate issuance of a writ of execution and hereby issues the instant writ of execution. Accordingly, the clerk of the commission is ordered to: Immediately cause the implementation of this writ of execution,” the ruling said.
Comelec Chair Sixto Brillantes Jr. and Commissioners Rene Sarmiento, Lucenito Tagle, Armando Velasco, Elias Yusoph and Christian Robert Lim signed the order.
Last week, Talaga failed to get a temporary restraining order or status quo ante order from the Supreme Court that would have stopped the Comelec from executing its order disqualifying Talaga from office.
The high court instead only ordered the Comelec to file a comment.
With the unseating of Talaga, the vice mayor, Roderick Alcala, will succeed her in accordance with the Local Government Code.
On May 20, the Comelec annulled Talaga’s victory as mayor for having filed a technically defective certificate of candidacy (COC) as a substitute for her husband, Ramon Talaga.
Talaga’s main challenger, Philip Castillo, filed the disqualification case.
The Comelec said Talaga filed her COC before her husband had formally withdrawn from the race.
As a consequence, the Comelec said, “Talaga’s filing her COC made her an ‘additional candidate,’ not a substitute, and in her failure to qualify, a permanent vacancy was created in the position of city mayor.”
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