Court orders arrest of Tañada namesake
LUCENA CITY, Philippines—A Liberal Party (LP) stalwart in Quezon province continues to cling to hopes of overturning the results of the 2013 elections, which he lost when a namesake ran and allegedly stole votes away from him.
Wigberto “Toby” Tañada Jr., son of LP old-timer Wigberto “Bobby” Tañada, said a warrant for the arrest of Alvin John Tañada, who ran for a seat representing the fourth district of Quezon and lost, too, paves the way for the unraveling of the fraud that led to his defeat to Angelina Tan (Nationalist People’s Coalition), who is now the recognized representative of the fourth district.
Alvin John, according to Tañada Jr., is now the subject of an arrest warrant for five counts of falsification of public documents. The warrant was issued by the Manila Metropolitan Trial Court Branch 24.
Tañada has accused Tan of using Alvin John in a scheme to deprive him of votes cast for Tañada in the 2013 elections.
Alvin John is not his relative, according to Tañada Jr.
Tan, in a text message to the Inquirer, said she could not care less about the case involving Alvin John.
“It’s funny,” said Tan. “I am not bothered and I don’t care what they want to do with Alvin,” she added.
She said the falsification case against Alvin John had nothing to do with the electoral protest case filed against her by Tañada Jr. at the House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal (HRET).
Frumencio Pulgar, Tan’s legal counsel, said the falsification case against Alvin John would not affect the case pending at the HRET.
Tañada said the Commission on Elections (Comelec) had ruled that Alvin John lied in his certificate of candidacy when he declared there that he had lived in Gumaca, Quezon, for 24 years. Candidates for House seats are required to be residents of the district they want to represent at least a year prior to the elections.
According to Tañada Jr., Alvin John was not even a resident of the town a year before the 2013 elections.
Tañada Jr. said Alvin John was fielded by Tan “to cause confusion among voters.” The documents that Alvin John submitted to the Comelec are believed to have been falsified.
Tañada Jr. said should Alvin John be finally declared as a nuisance candidate, votes credited to Alvin John should go to him, giving him a margin of at least 3,000 votes over Tan.
The Comelec disqualified Alvin John prior to the election but his name remained on the ballot because the ballot was printed before the disqualification came.
The disqualified candidate still received 7,038 votes. Tan garnered 84,782 and Tañada got 80,698.