Comelec 2nd division dismisses disqualification case vs Erwin Tulfo

ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 25 2023 07:23 PM

Then Social Welfare and Development Secretary Erwin Tulfo attends the Commission on Appointments hearing at the Philippine Senate on November 22, 2022. Bibo Nueva España, Senate PRIB/File
Then Social Welfare and Development Secretary Erwin Tulfo attends the Commission on Appointments hearing at the Philippine Senate on November 22, 2022. Bibo Nueva España, Senate PRIB/File

MANILA - The Commission on Elections 2nd Division on Thursday dismissed the petition for disqualification against Erwin Tulfo as nominee of ACT-CIS Party-list in the 2022 elections.

In a statement, Comelec said the petition was dismissed for lack of jurisdiction, adding that under Section 4(b), Rule 5 of Comelec Resolution No. 9366, a petition for disqualification must be filed "any day not later than the date of proclamation."

The petition for disqualification against Tulfo, however, was filed March 1, 2023. 

"Thus the Comelec no longer has jurisdiction over the petition for being filed out of time," it added.

Tulfo was the fourth nominee in the list of nominees submitted to the Comelec, with the first three nominees assuming office on June 30, 2022.

However, the third nominee, Jeffrey Soriano, resigned from the House of Representatives on February 22, 2023.

"Being the next representative in the list, Section 16 of Republic Act No. 7491 provides that Tulfo should automatically assume the seat vacated by Soriano to serve the latter's unexpired term," Comelec said.

In a message to reporters, Comelec chairman George Garcia said the decision will be final and executory if they will not receive a motion for reconsideration within five days.

The Comelec en banc, sitting as the National Board of Canvassers will then issue a certificate of proclamation.

The petition for disqualification against Tulfo was filed by Atty. Moises S. Tolentino, Jr. on allegations pertaining to "question of citizenship" and "conviction by final judgment of a crime involving moral turpitude."

- with a report from Willard Cheng, ABS-CBN News