Photo courtesy of City Mayor's Office-Puerto Princesa./ File photo

The Commission on Elections, sitting en banc, has taken note of the Second Urgent Motion to Resolve with Prayer the Motion to Suspend the Effects of Respondent’s (Mayor Lucilo Bayron) Proclamation last May 9 elections in reference to a case filed by three petitioners last December 9 and referred it to the commission’s 2nd Division, which handles the case.

The order, signed by COMELEC Chairman George Erwin Garcia on December 21, 2022, was in response to a motion filed by Benhar Halifa, Salvador Tinay, and Laurence Ganibo, who accused Bayron of exceeding the three-term limit for a local government official by running for and serving as mayor of Puerto Princesa City.

In a separate notice dated the same day and signed by Clerk of the Commission Atty. Genesis Gatdula, the election officer of Puerto Princesa City was also directed to serve a copy of the order on Bayron and to submit “within five days of receipt thereof a proof of service and/or receipt to the clerk of the commission.

The petitioners who filed the second urgent motion before the COMELEC en banc expressed their sentiments with COMELEC’s unfavorable actions in not requiring respondent Bayron to respond to their first motion for reconsideration.

They filed their motion after the COMELEC 2nd Division denied their petition on January 28, citing insufficient documents as required by Section 2, Rule 23 of COMELEC Resolution 9523 and a lack of sufficient evidence.

Along with the petition, the three also filed a Manifestation of Grave Concern “to express our exasperation of COMELEC’s inaction on our Motion for Reconsideration and for the apparent grave abuse of discretion of the poll body when it dismissed our petition without even requiring Bayron to answer it and for its failure to act on our Motion for Reconsideration.”

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