High Tribunal affirms ouster of elected Sulu mayor

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THE Supreme Court has affirmed a Commission on Elections (Comelec) decision cancelling the Certificate of Candidacy (CoC) of a mayoralty candidate who won the election on May 13, 2013.

This after the High Tribunal issued a resolution on June 10, 2014, junking the motion for reconsideration of Gamal Hayudini of South Ubian, Tawi-Tawi, holding that the Comelec was right when it ruled that he was not a resident of the town where he ran for the position of municipal mayor.

The High Tribunal affirmed its earlier decision dated April 22, 2014 when it dismissed the petition of Hayudini.

“The court resolved to deny with finality the said motion for reconsideration as no substantial arguments were presented to warrant the reversal of the questioned decision,” it said.


On October 5, 2012, Hayudini filed his CoC for the position of mayor in the polls held in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).

Ten days after, Mustapha Omar filed a petition to deny due course or cancel Hayudini’s CoC.

Hayudini won the mayoralty race in the elections. He was proclaimed and consequently took his oath of office.

But on June 20, 2013, the Comelec Second Division issued a resolution granting Omar’s petition to cancel Hayudini’s CoC because he was a not a resident of the town.

Hayudini sought reconsideration with the Comelec en banc but it denied his appeal, prompting him to elevate his case to the High Tribunal.

“The Comelec Resolutions dated June 20, 2013 and July 10, 2013 are hereby affirmed. No pronouncement as to costs,” the High Tribunal ruling read.

Citing the Omnibus Election Code, the High Tribunal held that Hayudini committed a false representation in his CoC when he declared to be a resident of South Ubian.

“Contrary to Hayudini’s belief, the will of the electorate is still actually respected even when the votes for the ineligible candidate are disregarded,” the High Tribunal said.

“The votes cast in favor of the ineligible candidate are not considered at all in determining the winner of an election for these do not constitute the sole and total expression of the sovereign voice. On the other hand, those votes for the eligible and legitimate candidates from an integral part of said voice, which must equally be given due respect, if not more,” it added.

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