Mayor removed for false info
TACLOBAN CITY—The Commission on Elections (Comelec) en banc removed a Samar town mayor from office for giving false information on his certificate of candidacy (COC).
The Comelec also ruled that the candidate who obtained the second highest number of votes was actually the duly elected mayor in the May 13 elections.
Removed from his post was Nicasio Abaigar, mayor of Calbiga town who was accused of “material misrepresentation” on his COC, particularly on his residency, citizenship and date of birth.
The Comelec en banc ruling dated Oct. 4 directed that a special board of canvassers headed by its local elections officer, Abigail Justine Lilagan, be constituted and proclaim Melchor Nacario as the rightful winner.
The Comelec en banc decision was based on a ruling of the first division of the Comelec on Jan. 28 canceling Abaigar’s COC for material misrepresentation and on the Supreme Court decision on Aug. 13 dismissing the certiorari petition filed by Abaigar.
Based on the records of the case, Abaigar claimed, on the COC he filed in the local Comelec office on Oct. 3, 2012, to be a resident of the Philippines since birth. He also claimed that he was a registered voter of Barangay (village) Canticum, Calbiga town, and was born on Dec. 15, 1951.
On Oct. 10, 2012, one Santiago Abelido filed a petition in the Comelec Manila office asking for the cancellation of Abaigar’s COC.
The Comelec First Division on Jan. 28 ruled that Abaigar was an American citizen, being a “permanent resident” of Sacramento, California, in the United States. The Comelec First Division also ruled that Abaigar was not a resident of Barangay Canticum and was born on Dec. 14, 1950.
The first division noted that under Section 78 of the Omnibus Election Code, providing wrong information on the COC is material misrepresentation, a ground for the cancellation of a COC.
During the May 13 elections, Abaigar (Liberal Party) garnered 5,804 votes while Nacario (Nationalist People’s Coalition), who was then the incumbent mayor serving his second term, obtained 5,747 votes or a margin of 57 votes.
Abaigar, who was making his first foray in the Calbiga politics, was proclaimed by the members of the municipal board of canvassers on May 14.
Nacario filed two petitions dated May 27 and June 26 seeking his proclamation as he was the duly elected mayor of his town because Abaigar was not considered a candidate due to the cancellation of his COC by the Comelec.
Both Abaigar and Nacario could not be reached for their comments.