MANILA – Commission on Elections (Comelec) Chairman Sixto Brillantes, Jr. on Tuesday said Emmanuel Maliksi must vacate his post as mayor of Imus, Cavite despite a pending motion for reconsideration on the Supreme Court (SC) decision unseating him.
Brillantes explained that the while the nature of the SC decision is not yet final, the high court had made it clear that it is immediately executory, considering that the next mid-term election is two months away.
"The tendency with the motion for reconsideration, based on the decision of the Supreme Court, it is already immediately executory. Now, the motion for reconsideration does not make the decision final but in the meantime it is already executory," he told ANC.
"It means, it can already be implemented subject to the final resolution of the motion for reconsideration."
The SC, voting 8-7, recently affirmed a Comelec decision unseating Maliksi and declared his rival Homer Saquilayan as the duly-elected mayor in the 2010 polls.
Tension was high at the Imus City Hall on Monday after Cavite Governor Jonvic Remula and several Comelec officials tried to serve a Comelec writ of execution, signed by Brillantes, to Maliksi.
Maliksi, backed by his supporters who barricaded the city hall, refused to leave his office, saying he cannot vacate his post until the SC decides on his motion for reconsideration.
Maliksi, who belongs to the administration's Liberal Party (LP), also criticized the SC decision, which came two months before the next election.
Maliksi and Saquilayan will again face off in the upcoming mid-term polls for the contested mayoralty post.
Asked if a Comelec official serving the writ of execution to an official can be considered irregular, Brillantes said: "If it is our election officer, then it is just for purposes of actually serving the writ, not enforcing. The installation or the actual unseating has to be done by somebody else. If nobody wants to obey, it will be up to the Department of the Interior and Local Government to enforce it already.
"There are instances where our election officers or our provincial election supervisors would serve, and there is no issue. They would simply comply. If there is no compliance, then the DILG takes over for the enforcement."