Puerto Princesa City Mayor Lucilo Bayron has asked the Supreme Court (SC) to stop the proceedings of the recall petition filed against him which the Commission on Elections (Comelec) has found to be sufficient.
In his 34-page petition for certiorari, Bayron asked the SC to issue a temporary restraining order (TRO) to enjoin the implementation of Comelec Resolution No. 9864 dated April 1, 2014 which affirms the sufficiency of the recall petition, as well as the Comelec Resolution dated Dec. 29, 2014 denying the petitioner’s motion for reconsideration (MR) and for clarification.
“It is respectfully prayed that a TRO or writ of preliminary injunction be issued enjoining public respondent from enforcing the assailed Resolutions, and from further continuing any act or proceeding relevant thereto…It is also prayed that after due hearing, said resolutions be set aside and nullified and declared void for having been issued with grave abuse of discretion…” the petition said.
The case arose from the recall petition filed by Alroben Goh, a resident of Puerto Princesa City, against Bayron.
Bayron argued that the Comelec committed grave abuse of discretion when it ruled that the recall petition was not prematurely filed when it was in fact filed more than nine months after he assumed his office.
He added that the mere filing of the recall petition is a violation of paragraph (b), Section 74 of the Local Government Code which prohibits the filing of a petition seeking the recall of an elective local official within one year from the date of the official’s assumption.
“Petitioner respectfully submits that the foregoing allegation of the private respondent is a judicial admission that the filing of his petition to recall the herein petitioner on March 17, 2014 or barely nine months and 17 days after petitioner assumed office is a flagrant violation of paragraph (b) Section 74 of the LGC,” Bayron said in his petition.
Bayron also scored the Comelec for its alleged failure to conduct “independent assessment and evaluation of the sufficiency of the recall petition by accepting the findings of Puerto Princesa’s Election Officer (EO) and its Office of the Deputy Executive Director for Operations (ODEDO) hook, line, and sinker…”
“As the law provided a two-tiered level assessment, it also follows that the law intended that the assessment of the Comelec En Banc should be independent and thus it should not rely on the representation of the EO, the PES or the ODEDO. Indeed, for the Comelec En Banc to do otherwise would be to render the two-tiered level assessment established in Comelec Resolution No. 7505 nugatory,” Bayron argued.
He also alleged that the recall petition is defective because the attached signature sheets did not contain the required brief narration of facts.
In his petition, Bayron showed a picture image of the alleged signature sheet bearing the words “for loss of trust and confidence” but there is no narration of the reasons which should have served as the basis for the filing of the petition.”
He also alleged that the Comelec has erred when it failed to rule that the required percentage of signatories in the recall petition should have been based on the “number of registered voters and not on the number of voting population.”
Bayron argued that under Section 6 of Comelec Resolution No. 7505, supporting petitioner in a petition for recall shall be registered voters of the local government concerned, who are registered as such during the election in which the local official sought to be recalled was elected.
“It must be stressed that voting population is different from registered voter. Voting population is broad concept and embraces all who have reached the majority age and includes those who failed to register even if they have already reached voting age,” he said.
The recall petition against Bayron is anchored on the allegations of deterioration of peace and order situation in Puerto Princesa City and the city’s poor performance in tourism. PNA