Ex-San Juan vice-mayor urges Comelec to find Mayor Guia
Former San Juan City Vice Mayor Francis Zamora is asking the help of the Commission on Elections to intervene and find Mayor Guia Gomez who has yet to receive the election recall documents.
“I call on the Comelec en banc. Please help us find Mayor Guia … She is not showing up,” Zamora said in press conference held Thursday at the Club Filipino in San Juan City.
“We appeal to the Comelec en Banc to guide the Comelec San Juan election officers on how to properly serve the notice of sufficiency as Mayor Gomez is not reporting to work in the City Hall and is evading the election officer,” he added.
The Comelec has granted the petition to recall the election filed by residents and barangay officials Sophia Patricia Gil, Raul Sevilla, Raymond Alzona and Jun Paul Aquino, finding the petition “sufficient in form” last Dec 14.
Around 30,000 San Juan residents supported the petition filed against Gomez last Sept 22 in the form of a signature campaign, which the petitioners said, exceeded the required 14,425 signatures, Gil said.
Under amendments made by Republic Act No. 9244 in the Local Government Code, recall elections can be initiated through a petition involving 20 percent of the registered voters during the election in question. This applies to cities or municipalities with 20,000 to 75,000 voters.
San Juan City had 71,225 registered voters in 2016. Gomez won over Zamora for the mayoral bid by 1000 votes.
“50,000 bonafide residents supported Zamora. This is enough to call for a recall. The (Ejercito)clan has been in power for 48 years already. Perhaps one year is not a big loss to them. 48 years is enough. Too much,” Gil added.
“Our dilemma here is the copy of the resolution has not been served upon (Gomez) because of her supposed leave of absence. In her intention to purposely evade service of the Notice … upon her,” Gil said, reading her statement.
“Gomez) is now never around to discharge duties even skipping the flag ceremony on the last Monday of the year and other important events of the city,” she added.
For Zamora, Gomez’s absence is a conscious effort to delay the recall process.
“She is purposely evading the Notice of Sufficiency so the validation of signatures will not proceed,” he said.
“I have information she is just in her home. Even us, her constituents are looking for her. She is expected to be seen and felt by the people but because she is evading, we can’t feel her,”’Zamora said.
In a statement sent to the Inquirer, Gomez, who is on leave, dismissed the allegations calling the move “desperate attempts.”
“It is sad that while everyone is in high spirits to celebrate the Christmas holidays, there are some individuals, who are all in their desperate attempts to dampen our holidays with their political divisive efforts,” she said.
Gomez said she has never received any Comelec resolution on the sufficiency of their petition.
“On why it is taking that long, why blame it on me? Why not ask his “legal friends” who are providing him with unofficial and false information?” she said.
“I will take the legal and appropriate course and will respect the decision of Comelec, whatever it is, my lawyers are ready. Let this matter take its due course,” she added.
“I am not afraid to face and defeat my former vice mayor once again, if this will really take place next year …”
Gomez noted that the people of San Juan are contented with the economic growth the city is experiencing. The DILG recognized it by recently awarding us the “Seal of Good Local Governance” for two consecutive years, 2016 and 2017, she added.
“It is only them who are not happy with these accomplishments. I cannot really understand why they are so desperate considering that it is actually one and half years to go before I finish my third and last term,” she said.
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