• Comelec mulls disqualification cases of two Luzon mayors

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    TWO other mayors in Luzon might suffer the same fate of incumbent Laguna Governor Emilio Ramon “ER” Ejercito.

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    This was revealed by Commission on Election (Comelec) Chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr. who said his office is studying separate disqualification cases filed against two mayors in Luzon, namely, Roxas, Isabela Mayor Benedict Calderon and Norzagaray, Bulacan Mayor Alfred Gesmar.

    The two were disqualified by the Comelec’s First Division allegedly for massive vote buying during the 2013 polls.

    Comelec is set to decide on the fate of the two mayors by the end of May or in the first week of June.

    “They were both disqualified by the First Division. We can either affirm or reverse it,” Brillantes said.

    Under the Omnibus Election Code, vote buying is defined as “giving, offering or promising money or anything of value directly or indirectly, in order to induce anyone or the public in general to vote for or against any candidate.”

    Gesmar was disqualified last year over vote buying claims of losing mayoralty candidate Feliciano Legaspi.

    This reportedly occurred in North Hills Village in Ba–rangay Bitungol when four boxes containing sealed envelopes with a total of P800,000 in cash were confiscated from the Gesmar’s bodyguards.

    A few days later, Calderon was disqualified following the complaint of his rival, Harry Soller.

    Calderon allegedly ordered the delivery of 30 sacks of rice to 95 senior citizens in Barangay Munoz West; gave away hogs to several barangays, one of which is Barangay San Luis; and gave cash ranging from P1,000 to P10,000 at numerous barangays.

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