• Comelec proclaims Mt. Province governor

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    BAGUIO CITY: The daughter of the late Mt. Province governor, Leonard Mayaen – lawyer Kathy Jyll Mayaen-Luis – was proclaimed winner by the Provincial Board Of Canvassers (PBOC), despite a ruling of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) on the issue of substitution.

    Mt. Province election supervisor Elenita Tabangin-Capuyan said they received the Comelec en banc ruling of a special polls in the province that would be set after May 9, only in the morning of May 10 when they were set to proclaim the winners.

    “Our decision is to proclaim Atty. Kathy Jyll as the governor of Mountain Province,” Capuyan said, citing a majority vote of the members of the PBOC composed of Provincial Prosecutor Glenda Bagawi and Provincial Schools Division Superintendent Gloria Buya-ao.

    While Capuyan voted to defer the proclamation pending the consent of the Comelec, “the rule on majority vote was carried,” she said.

    The PBOC believed that substitution was valid since the votes obtained by Mayaen in the May 9 polls reached 60,664.

    Capuyan cited several grounds in response to the en banc’s denial of Mayaen-Luis’ plea for substitution who submitted her application on May 5 to substitute for her father who died of a heart attack during the campaign period.

    Capuyan stressed that the substitute for a candidate who died or is disqualified may file a petition up to election day provided the one being replaced and the replacement have the same surname.

    The election supervisor also noted that “to embark on a costly electoral exercise is an unwarranted imposition on the locals which is an unacceptable option to judicial conscience.”

    But Section 19 of Comelec resolution 99-84 promulgated on October 10, 2015 governing substitution of candidates does not specify that substitution of a candidate in case of death does not apply to an independent.

    Meanwhile in Benguet, Board Member Cresencio Pacalso won as governor over Vice Gov. Nelson Dangwa, while Florence Tingbaoen was elected vice governor.

    Elected board members in the first district are Johhny Waguis, Florencio Bentrez, Coy Nazarro and Bernard Waclin. While second district winners were Robert Namoro, Jim Botiwey, Apolinario Camsol, Ruben Paoad, Roberto Canuto and Pandong Balaodan.

    Liberal Party’s Ronald Cosalan also bested his closest rival, Gov. Nestor Fongwan in the congressional race.

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