A disqualification case was filed on Tuesday before the Commission on Elections (Comelec) against senatorial candidate and incumbent Sarangani Rep. Emmanuel “Manny” Pacquiao’s younger brother, Rogelio, who is running for the position that will be vacated by the boxing icon.
The petition for outright disqualification with motion to suspend proclamation was filed by a Megie “Jamby” Regie-Orig, a resident of the municipality of Kiamba in Sarangani.
Regie-Orig is also a candidate for congressman for the lone district of Sarangani province in Mindanao.
The petitioner, through counsel Berteni Causing, noted that Rogelio has failed to comply with the one-year residency requirement under Section 6 of the Constitution that states, “No person shall be a member of the House of Representatives unless… a resident thereof, for a period of not less than one year immediately preceding the day of the election[s].”
The younger Pacquiao is the current chairman of Barangay Apopong in General Santos.
According to the petitioner, there is no evidence that Rogelio has relinquished his post as barangay (village) chairman, which only proves that he remains a resident of General Santos City and thus not qualified to run for congressman of Sarangani.
“Until now, there is no proof that Rogelio D. Pacquiao resigned from being the barangay chairman of Apopong one year earlier than the day of election[s], an act that he should do in order to show proof that he voluntarily disqualified himself to be the chairman of the same barangay by means of relinquishing his residency therein in favor of a new place of residence,” the petition said.
Presented as evidence was the younger Paquiao’s letter of resignation, dated October 30, 2015, relinquishing his post as barangay captain of Barangay Apopong and president of Association of Barangay Captains.
Causing claimed that it was the earliest possible date that Rogelio can only be considered as having relinquished his residency from Barangay Apopong, which, he pointed out, is six months before the May 9 elections.
He noted that during the time the younger Pacquiao filed his certificate of candidacy for congressman for the lone district of Sarangani, he was still barangay captain, which clearly contradicted his argument on domicile.
Also presented as evidence was the deed of absolute sale of a residential property located in Alpha Village, Barangay Alabel, Sarangani, which Rogelio has purchased to establish residence, which, the petitioner said, has no records that it was notarized at least one year prior to the May 9 elections.
“If a proof is furnished that the candidate failed to satisfy the requirement of residence of one year immediately preceding the day of election[s], he is automatically disqualified and the Comelec will declare outright his or candidacy to be considered as null and void,” the 10-page petition said.
Causing also moved that in case the younger Pacquiao wins as a result of the counting and canvassing of votes, his proclamation be suspended “if only not to spoil all the official acts that may have been done if only there was no serious issue in the qualification of [Rogelio] Pacquiao.”