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Guia finally faces press: ‘Not sure if I’ll accept recall papers’

/ 06:48 AM January 12, 2018

San Juan City Mayor Guia Gomez on Thursday denounced as unfair the recall election petition that is gaining ground against her, vowing to challenge it in court.

In a press conference held in her house on Ibuna Street, Gomez told reporters: “I will not accept this recall election and [I] will allow my lawyers to challenge it legally and according to the right process.”

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“The recall petitions orchestrated by [former Vice Mayor Francis] Zamora is not the true will of the people of San Juan. It is a product of their machinations… I will not allow myself to fall [because of] his ill motives,” she said, reading from a statement.

“I am not sure whether to accept it … because I find it unfair. I don’t think [there is a] loss of confidence [in me]. I will have to ask San Juan [residents] if they have lost confidence in my leadership… Ask the people in the streets and they will answer differently from the Zamoras,” she later told reporters.

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Gomez denied evading officials of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) who have been trying since Dec. 14 to serve her a notice of sufficiency for a recall election. Based on the law, she should formally receive the documents in order for the poll body to start preparing for another mayoral election.

“That’s my personal choice [not to meet with Comelec officials]. I feel [that] maybe the Comelec doesn’t know much about San Juan; that we have received these [awards] [and] that there’s no loss of confidence,” she said.

Guia Gomez —NIÑO JESUS ORBETA

Gomez said she might eventually receive the documents, but asked that she be given for more time to think about it. “I will accept the notice when they can serve it to me personally. I am sorry that we have yet to meet since I was on leave (in December),” she said.

She pointed out that she was already on her last term as mayor and would step down from office on June 30 next year. “I will not allow a group of individuals obsessed with power to make a mockery of this mandate,” she stressed. “I don’t know why they can’t wait.”

Shortly after losing to Gomez in the May 2016 polls, Zamora filed an electoral protest but later withdrew it. His supporters, however, filed a petition for a recall election, which was approved by the Comelec en banc in December.

Zamora earlier urged Gomez to stop hiding from the Comelec and report for work. “If I were in her place, I will no longer give the election officer a hard time. I would go to the Comelec and personally receive the notice to prove to the people that I am not scared and I am ready to face the recall process,” he said.

But Gomez maintained that she never went into hiding but had to take a leave of absence from work for health reasons.

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“It’s a big lie. I filed for a leave because I needed to undergo a medical test, which I will no longer discuss,” she told reporters. “I am on leave since first week of December, so that means I can go anywhere I want. You can check my records at the Cardinal Santos (hospital) … and I have lost my voice.”

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TAGS: election petition, evading officials, recall election, San Juan City Mayor Guia Gomez
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