FORMER Rep. Romeo Jalosjos remains disqualified to run for any elective office.
In 12-page decision penned by Associate Justice Pedro Corales and concurred in by Associate Justices Mariflor Punzalan Castillo and Amy Lazaro-Javier, the Court of Appeal’s Fifteenth Division denied for lack of merit an appeal filed by Jalosjos as it affirmed the February 21, 2013 order of the Regional Trial Court (RTC), Branch 206, Muntinlupa City, dismissing the former lawmaker’s petition for mandamus.
The appeal stemmed from his rearrest a day after he walked out of the New Bilibid Prisons (NBP) and flew to his hometown in southern Philippines.
Jalosjos was sentenced to serve two life terms for raping an 11-year-old girl.
He was granted executive clemency by then-President Gloria Arroyo after serving only 13 years in prison and was given a certificate of discharge on December 16, 2007.
Jalosjos returned to the NBP upon learning that then-Justice Secretary Raul Gonzalez was suspending his release through a resolution.
The Department of Justice learned that Jalosjos was supposed to be freed in 2009, when he turned 70, not December 16, 2007.
The CA ruling stated that Jalosjos had failed to establish the existence of DOJ’s ministerial duty to correct his prison records.
Citing the Supreme Court ruling, it held that “the effectivity of the accessory penalty of perpetual absolute disqualification does not depend on the duration of the principal penalty or on whether the convict serves his jail sentence or not.”
The appellate court said Jalosjos’ claims were already moot and academic.
Jalosjos was disqualified by the Commission on Elections and later on was affirmed by the SC in the May 2013 polls when he ran for mayor of Zamboanga City.