Puerto Princesa City mayor Lucilo Bayron is facing two disqualification cases filed by his detractors before the Commission on Elections (COMELEC).
The petitions were filed separately by two parties. One petition filed on October 5 by a certain Nelson Morondoz, challenged Bayron’s qualification based on the 3-term limit under the election law.
City administrator Atty. Arnel Pedrosa said Bayron has not received any notice to reply to the petition.
“Mayor is not yet in receipt of an order or summons to answer any petition. We will cross the bridge when we get there,” Pedrosa said in a text message on Thursday.
The other petition, filed by Benhar Halipa, Salvador Tinay, and Francis Laurence, sought to cancel Bayron’s candidacy by citing his Sandiganbayan case in 2016 involving a conviction for grave misconduct and serious dishonesty.
According to the second petition, which was received by COMELEC on November 15, Bayron was effectively never suspended, thus disqualifying him for running for another term.
Bayron was ordered removed from office by the Office of the Ombudsman in 2017.
In March 2017, the Ombudsman agreed to suspend Bayron for three months and was reinstated by August 2017, after the Court of Appeals exonerated Bayron from the case.
Bayron earlier stated that according to COMELEC rules, his suspension in 2017 cut short his second term as city mayor, therefore qualifying him to run for another term next year.
Bayron is banking on the precedent set by the Supreme Court in 2019 that allowed Camarines Norte governor Edgardo Tallado to serve a 4th term because of an interruption.
Meanwhile, COMELEC spokesperson James Jimenez told Palawan News on Thursday that there is no decision yet to act on the two petitions.