Comelec en banc affirms Mabalacat mayor’s disqualification
MABALACAT CITY – The Commission on Elections (Comelec) sitting en banc last week has affirmed the decision of the Comelec First Division to disqualify Mabalacat City Mayor Marino Morales in Pampanga for having exceeded the three-term limit of 12 years imposed on elected local officials.
The en banc decision came nine months after the First Division ordered the city board of canvassers to declare as stray votes all ballots cast for Morales, and to proclaim former provincial board member Crisostomo Garbo as winner. The disqualification case was filed by losing candidate Pyra Lucas.
Mabalacat became a city in 2012, so Morales had argued that he was not covered by the term limit, as he was serving his second term as city mayor.
His lawyer, Romulo Macalintal, said Morales will take the case to the Supreme Court. Tonette Orejas @ttorejasINQ