Ex-Imus mayor presses Comelec on reinstatement

by RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 03 2012 05:47 PM | Updated as of Sep 04 2012 02:22 AM

MANILA, Philippines -Unseated Imus Cavite Mayor Homer Saquilayan and his supporters picketed the Commission on Election's (Comelec) national offices on Monday to press for a writ of execution in his case.

Saquilayan said he and his supporters have waited long enough.

He said a writ of execution for the Comelec's August 15 resolution reinstating him should be issued.

He added that the Comelec should act with more urgency.

Saquilayan said he won over his main election rival, Emmanuel Maliksi, by over 8,000 votes.

In January this year, the Imus Regional Trial Court unseated Saquilayan, favoring his rival's electoral protest.

Sauilayan claimed that what happened to him is a case of electoral sabotage.

In a 34-page resolution issued August 15, 2012, the Comelec's First Division declared Saquilayan as the duly elected mayor of the city after it made an audit of the vote ballot in clustered precincts in question.

The resolution was signed by Commissioners Rene Sarmiento, Armando Velasco and Christian Robert Lim.

The resolution reversed a November 15, 2011 decision of Imus RTC Judge Cesar Mangrobang that annulled Saquilayan's proclamation as mayor.

Maliksi filed an election protest on May 21, 2010. He claimed that the ballots that have discrepancies, including "double-shading," candidates' ballot positions, ambiguous votes, and alleged over-voting.

Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes said the commission en banc is now considering a motion for reconsideration filed by Maliksi.

Brillantes said Saquilayan should be able to take back his seat after the en banc rules on the case.

He said even if a case wins in the first division, it could still be appealed to the Comelec en banc.

The commission en banc's decision can only be reversed by the Supreme Court.

Brillantes appealed for more patience, saying this is part of due process.

Saquilayan said he has been waiting for 8 months, adding that it's about time that Comelec addresses the issue.

Brillantes said the decision may come in less than a month.

He said the Comelec en banc wants to finish it before the filing of certificates of candidacy for the May 2013 elections.