THE Commission on Elections (Comelec) has dismissed the petition for a recall election against San Juan City Mayor Guia Gomez for lack of sufficient evidence.
In an eighteen-page decision, the poll body said petitioners Sophia Patricia Gil, Raul Sevilla, Raymond Alzona and Jun Paul Aquino were able to meet the required 20 percent signatures of the 71,225 total registered voters of the city in the last elections but the number of signatories was not enough.
The petitioners claimed that there were 28,550 signatures but upon verification, the Comelec removed those without signatures or addresses.
“After deducting those without listed addresses, or names or signatures or combinations thereof, and those listed outside of the lines provided, the Office of the Deputy Executive Director for Operations came up with 26,587 signatories or a difference of 1,963,” the poll body said.
It added that the petition for recall was not supported by the certificate of assumption to office of Gomez.
On May 18, 2017, the petitioners asked the Comelec to remove Gomez from office for “graft and corruption, abuse of power, negligence of duty, and for having lost the voters’ trust and confidence.”
A recall election is a procedure provided under the Local Government Code to remove certain elected officials, such as mayors.
Former vice mayor Francis Zamora, who lost to Gomez by a slim margin in the election last year, claimed that the camp of Gomez was involved in massive vote buying. Zamora is the son Rep. Ronaldo Zamora, a longtime ally of former President Joseph Estrada, also a former mayor of San Juan.
Gomez, partner of Estrada and mother of Sen. Joseph Victor “JV” Ejercito, had expressed confidence that the recall petition filed against her will be dismissed. She claimed that Zamora was behind the signature campaign.