Tañada sees rival’s hand in dirty tricks
LUCENA CITY—A member of a respected political clan in Quezon on Thursday said his fight for a seat in the House had revealed what he described as dirty tactics used by his rival in the last elections, including notarizing documents illegally to make these appear genuine.
Wigberto Tañada Jr., a member of the Liberal Party, filed a disbarment case against a lawyer who notarized documents certifying purportedly that a candidate who ran with the name Alvin John Tañada met residency requirements.
Tañada said lawyer Celso Escobido, a partner in the law firm of his rival Angelina Tan’s legal counsel, notarized 14 sets of documents purportedly from Alvin John that claimed Alvin John, who used the surname Tañada in his certificate of candidacy (COC), is a longtime resident of Gumaca town.
Tañada said Escobido was not a commissioned notary public in 2012, when he notarized the documents.
Alvin John was disqualified eventually by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) due to misrepresentation in his COC, but his name still appeared on the ballot.
Escobido and one of Tan’s lawyers, Prumencio Pulgar, are partners in a law firm with an office in Makati City,
In an earlier phone interview, Pulgar admitted that Escobido is his law partner.
Tan, who ran as a member of the Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC), has reported for work at the House of Representatives, saying she filed two bills that were received by the chamber’s bills and index division.
“If I am not a legitimate legislator, they should not have accepted and recorded my proposed bills. It is that simple,” Tan said.
On June 28, the Comelec’s second division annulled Tan’s proclamation as legislator-elect. It ordered the Quezon provincial board of canvassers to reconvene so corrections could be made and the
7,038 votes of disqualified candidate Alvin John be credited to Tañada. The board was also ordered to recount the votes for Tañada.
Tañada trailed Tan by 4,084 votes. If the votes of Alvin John are transferred to Tañada, the latter would win with a margin of 2,954 votes over Tan.
Pulgar said the camp of Tan would submit a manifestation asking the Comelec en banc to review the decision of the second division and reverse it.
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