Comelec division disqualifies Cagayan’s Mamba over public spending ban violation
MANILA, Philippines — The Commission on Elections (Comelec) Second Division has disqualified Cagayan Gov. Manuel Mamba for violating the public spending ban during the May 2022 polls.
Based on the 18-page resolution promulgated on December 14, the Comelec division found that Mamba violated the provision of the Omnibus Election Code (OEC) prohibiting the release, disbursement, or expenditure of public funds during the 45-day election ban.
The petition against then-reelectionist Mamba was lodged by his rival in the gubernatorial post, Ma. Zara Rose De Guzman, who had alleged that he “engaged in massive vote-buying activities during the campaign period … in the guise of distribution of cash assistance or ayuda.”
De Guzman claimed Mamba allotted P550 million from the coffers of the provincial government to distribute P1,000 cash aid for all registered voters in Cagayan.
“Based on the evidence presented, Petitioner (De Guzman) has overcome the burden of proof with substantial evidence to establish that Respondent (Mamba) violated Sec. 261 (v) (2) of the OEC,” the Comelec Second Division’s resolution reads.
Thus, the resolution adds, “MANUEL N. MAMBA is DISQUALIFIED as a candidate for the position of Governor in the Province of Cagayan in the 09 May 2022 National and Local Elections.”
Comelec spokesperson John Rex Laudiangco, however, said that Mamba could still appeal the decision before the Comelec en banc. He said the filing of the motion for reconsideration can be done within five calendar days from receipt of a copy of the resolution by Mamba.
“Please note that the Respondent may still file a Motion for Reconsideration which will be elevated to the Commission en banc,” Laudiangco told reporters on Thursday.
Once the ruling becomes final and executory, the vice governor of Cagayan province will assume the gubernatorial seat, Laudiangco also explained.
Comelec denies petition for spending ban exemption of Nueva Ecija, 2 other areas
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