(File photo)

A candidate for councilor in Quezon town, southern Palawan, has found herself facing a petition for disqualification before the Commission on Elections (COMELEC).

This was after the 2nd Division of the COMELEC granted on May 2 the petition filed by Rogelio Lauros and Ray Nueva España against former Quezon vice mayor Eugene Ayod who is running for councilor for serious dishonesty and grave misconduct.

The decision signed by presiding Commissioner Luie Tito Guia, Commissioner Socorro Inting and Commissioner Antonio Kho Jr., says the order of the Civil Service Commission (CSC) is final and executory which disqualifies her from holding public office.

“Respondent was validly removed from her position [as vice mayor] by virtue of a final and executory CSCS decision dismissing her from office for dishonesty and grave misconduct, and which carries the accessory penalty of perpetual disqualification from holding public office. The CSC decision was implemented when she was removed as vice mayor of Quezon, Palawan by the DILG. The final and executory decision of CSC dismissing respondent places her under the operation of Section 40(b) of the Local Government Code which expressly disqualifies from public office those removed from the office as a result of an administrative case,” the order said.

The order also said that there is no re-election to speak of since the respondent was an assistant municipal treasurer, an appointive position which the administrative case has been filed against her.

Her election in May 2016 could not have operated as condonation of her prior misconduct.

“Wherefore, premise considered, the commission (second division) grants the petition and declared Eugene Ayod disqualified from running Sangguniang Bayan of Quezon, Palawan,” the Comelec ruling said.

Ayod cannot be reached for comment as of press deadline.

Jomel Ordas, spokesperson of the Comelec in Palawan, said they have already received a copy of the disqualification order but refused to give additional details.

“Natanggap na namin pero hindi na muna kami magco-comment d’yan, hintayin nalang natin kung ano ang instruction ng mga opisyal natin. Iniiwasan natin na magkaroon ng problema sa part ng COMELEC, baka matechnical pa tayo,” he said.

In November 2018, Quezon councilor Edwin Caabay has been affirmed as new vice mayor of the town after a representative from the regional office of Department of Interior and Local Government serve the dismissal order for Ayod as vice mayor.

The case stemmed in 2014 when Quezon town resident Rogelio Lauros filed a case against Ayod accusing her of sending a fake examinee to take the CSC eligibility exam for her in 1997.

The CSC also denied Ayod’s appeal not to be dismissed and take action for her removal.

The CSC eventually ordered the forfeiture of her retirement benefits, withdrawal of her civil service eligibility, perpetual disqualification from holding public office and bar her from taking any CSC-related examinations.

According to the order of the CSC, On November 2014, Ayod was accorded a permanent promotional appointment as assistant municipal treasurer and she submitted a personal data sheet dated June 16, 2004, indicating she had passed the CSC exam conducted on February 16, 1997, with a rating of 82.16 percent.

However, upon verification of examinee’s picture on the record CSC found out that the one who took an exam was male.

“Thus, it was obvious that Ayod caused another person to take the February 16, 1997, CSPE in Puerto Princesa City for and on her behalf,” CSC order said

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is the chief of correspondents of Palawan News. She covers defense, politics, tourism, health, and sports stories. She loves to travel and explore different foods.