The operations department of the Commission on Election has determined the petition for recall against Vice Mayor Luis Marcaida III as “sufficient” and has recommended the adoption of a resolution by the Comelec en banc.
In a six-page memorandum to the Commission en banc dated September 22, a copy of which was obtained by Palawan News from a City Hall source, Comelec Deputy Executive Director Bartolome Sinocruz Jr, attested to the sufficiency of the documents submitted by the recall petitioners.
“Foregoing considered, Office of the Deputy Executive Director for Operations (ODEDO) shares the finding of Acting Executive Director Madale and finds the Petition fo recall against Vice Mayor Luis Marcaida III of Puerto Princesa, Palawan, SUFFICIENT,” the memorandum stated.
Under Comelec rules, the adoption by the Comelec en banc of the resolution will pave the way for the verification of the signatures of the recall petitioners prior to its determination of the date to hold a special elections.
The main petitioner for the recall, Oscar Lapida, said he was pleased with the findings of the Comelec office.
“Masayang masaya kami siyempre. Nagbunga na ‘yung isang linggo naming hirap at pag-aayos,”said Lapida.
The petition was reportedly signed by 39,768 petitioners from various barangays of Puerto Princesa City, a number that exceeds the required 15 percent of the voting population or 24,113 signatures.
Lapida, a political supporter of Mayor Lucilo Bayron said they initiated the petition because of Marcaia’s alleged involvement in illegal drugs and on the police profile describing the latter as a “high-value target” in the government’s war on drugs.
Marcaida’s spokesperson, Elmer Zita. Zita, shrugged off the petition, arguing that Marcaida cannot be subject to recall since he has already assumed the post of mayor.
“Walang problema ‘yan. That’s an electoral process. Kumplikado ‘yan dahil mayor na si Marcaida legally and technically, so papaano mo siya ire-recall when he is already the mayor of Puerto Princesa?” Zita said.