The Supreme Court (SC) dismissed the petition of former Mayor Jay Manalo Ilagan of Mataas na Kahoy in Batangas, who was disqualified by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to run in the May 2016 polls, being a fugitive from justice for charges of rape and human trafficking.
In an en banc ruling, the High Court upheld the Comelec resolutions canceling Ilagan’s certificate of candidacy (CoC) on the ground of material misrepresentation of his eligibility based on objection of Vice Mayor Henry Laqui, saying that the former mayor was a fugitive from justice.
Ilagan was charged with rape and violation of the law against human trafficking under Republic Act 9208 on the complaint of a 19-year-old woman in Ormoc City.
The Comelec 2nd Division ruled to cancel Ilagan’s COC, and this was eventually affirmed by the Comelec en banc.
Ilagan sought refuge with the High Court on the ground that the Comelec committed grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction when his COC was canceled.
He argued that the Comelec committed grave abuse when it proclaimed another candidate as mayor, and insisted that he was not a fugitive from justice.