MP Gov Lacwasan files protest on proclamation of Mayaen’s daughter

>> Tuesday, May 31, 2016

By Gina Dizon

BONTOC, Mountain Province – Gov. Bonifacio Lacwasan, Jr. filed a motion for reconsideration (MR) with the Provincial Election Supervisor asking the Provincial Board of Canvassers to reconsider their proclamation of Kathy JyllMayaen-Luis as the winning gubernatorial candidate.

Mayaen-Luis filed a petition for substitution on May 5 for Gov. Leonardo Mayaen who died of a heart attack on March 31.
Lacwasan in his moion averred that the BOC is an inferior body to the Commission on Elections en banc, and should have “obeyed, respected and took cognizance of the denial” of Mayaen-Luis’s petition for substitution, and that the “prudent action” by the BOC should be to direct Mayaen-Luis to contest the denial if she wishes to.

The motion also referred to Section 19 of Comelec Resolution 9984 which states “No substitution shall be allowed for any independent candidate,” and that the PES’s acceptance of Kathy Jyll’s Certificate of Candidacy (COC) and her subsequent proclamation despite the denial of her COC was in direct violation of this provision. As a lawyer, the PES should act with “honesty, integrity, probity, professionally, etc.”

Instead, the motion further averred, the “answer” of the Board of Canvassers to the petition for nomination of Mayaen-Luis clearly indicates that the BOC “acted as the respondent and at the same time judge of the petition.”

PES ElenitaTabangin- Capuyan earlier said that substitution is allowed despite clearly-stated Comelec resolutions saying the opposite.

Upon the death of the late Gov. Leonard G. Mayaen, Tabangin-Capuyan told the media substitution is possible.
Mayaen-Luis, daughter of the late governor, filed a Certificate of Candidacy attached to a Petition for Substitution on May 5, 2016, four days before the election on May 9.

The PES sent the petition to the Comelec national office by email, after which the Comelec en banc, held a special meeting on the subject on May 7.

The Comelec en banc denied the petition and the COC as recommended by the Comelec law department.
A resolution, an excerpt of the minutes of the special meeting was received by the Comelec regional office on May 8, and the Provincial Election Supervisor reportedly received a copy of the minute resolution in morning of May 10, 2016.
Even with the minute resolution, the BOC proclaimed Mayaen-Luis night of May 10.

The denial should have had the legal effect that Mayaen-Luis was nevera candidate, and therefore could not be proclaimed, an election lawyer said.

This, as theSupreme Court maybe the last recourse to settle the issue of whether the proclamation of Mayaen-Luis as governor is legal or not, legal quarters here said asking: Can the substitute for a candidate who ran unopposed as an independent and died before the elections be proclaimed? 

EderlinoTabilas, Commission on Elections-Cordillera Administrative Region director said “The proclamation of (Cathy Jill) Mayaen-Luis as substitute for her father for governor remains valid until annulled. The matter is now up to the full commission to decide considering there is no existing jurisprudence concerning the issue at hand. The poll body denied the motion in a resolution issued on May 7.

Comelec Chairman Andres Bautista earlier said a special election for governor would instead be held in the province after May 9. 

Bautista said former Gov. Mayaen cannot be substituted as he has no political party to replace him in his bid for re-election.   
Special elections for Mountain Province for the questioned governorship shall still be decided by Comelec.

In case there is a special election, expense shall be handled by the Province concerned and shall be reimbursed following the approval of a bill filed to this effect, Capuyan said.

The provincial board of canvassers said they proclaimed Mayaen because there was no aggrieved party. 
The older Mayaen, whose name remained in the official ballots, got 60,684 votes.

With this situation, it would be the Supreme Court which may decide with finality whether the proclamation of Mayaen-Luis as provincial governor was legal or not, said Tabangin-Capuyan, 


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