The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has affirmed the sufficiency of the recall petition against Puerto Princesa Mayor Lucilo Bayron.
A reliable source said the Comelec en banc voted 6-0 to deny for lack of merit a motion to reconsider its earlier decision upholding the petition to recall the election of Bayron as mayor of Puerto Princesa, a gateway to the Palawan tourist destinations.
The Comelec though has yet to promulgate the decision and have it published for three weeks before a recall election can actually be held in the city.
A total of 40,409 registered voters signed the recall petition even when only 19,335 are needed for a recall election to push through. Bayron may remain as mayor if, in the recall election, he still remains as the person with the highest number of votes, which, in effect, affirms confidence in leadership.
In deciding on the case, the Comelec said that Bayron failed to offer sufficient basis for his allegations of fraud (in the gathering of signatures).
“He cannot solely rely on the fact that he won in the 2013 national and local elections to conclude that it was unlikely for the petitioners to obtain the number of signatories, as the majority of the voters have chosen him. The intervening period from the conduct of elections up to the time the signatures were gathered could have changed the perception of the people on their leader,” a portion of the un-promulgated decision reads.
It added that “Mayor Bayron simply cannot conclude fraud on the basis of his victory in the last election. On the contrary, it is presumed that the supporting petitioners affixed their signatures after reading the contents of the recall petition.”
Alroben Goh, who initiated the recall petition against Bayron, said that “the recall elections against Bayron will happen soon and won’t be stopped anymore.” Goh has charged Bayron in his petition of graft and corruption, nepotism, and worsening economy and peace and order, among others.