BAGUIO CITY – The certificates of candidacy (COC) of a mayoral candidate here and 24 others were deemed not filed by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) en banc because they used an old version of the election document.
Baguio mayoral candidate and incumbent councilor Edgar Avila said he is eyeing filing cases against Comelec-Baguio staff who verified and accepted his COC.
Instead of the updated COC issued by Comelec for the midterm elections, Avila used an old version of the COC which, according to him, was downloaded from the Comelec website.
The new COC form contains the question: "Have you ever been found liable for an offense which carries with it a penalty of perpetual disqualification?"
Avila insisted he complied by citing some cases against him that were filed but dismissed.
“However, in answer to that question, part of my COC included some cases that were filed but all dismissed so nag-comply ako (I complied) with question number 22," he said.
The filing of a resolution disqualifying him did not follow proper procedure, according to Avila’s camp.
Election lawyer Elenita Tabangin-Capuyan, meanwhile, said the Comelec en banc has solid basis in filing the resolution without providing notice to Avila.
“'Yun kaniya pong COC was not filed in due form so it will only apply, 'yang due process, na kailangan pa ng hearing at trial, that applies if the certificate of candidacy has been filed in due form," she said.
(His COC was not filed in due form so due process will only apply if the certificate of candidacy has been filed in due form.)
Avila’s camp said it would file a motion for reconsideration on the Comelec en banc's resolution on Monday.
For now, he insisted that the resolution is not final and that he would continue with his campaign.