Substituting the late Governor Mayaen

>> Tuesday, May 31, 2016

By Gina Dizon

MOUNTAIN PROVINCE Election Supervisor Atty Elenita Julia Tabangin-Capuyan anticipates the issue on whether substitution of deceased independent candidate Atty Leonard Mayaen is legal or not to reach the Supreme Court. As of now, Comelec en banc in their May 7 decision denied the substitution of the deceased Mayaen for the governorship of the Province by his daughter Atty Kathy Jyll Mayaen-Luis.
       The basis is clear hinging on section 77 of the Omnibus Election Code that a candidate who belongs to a political party can be substituted in case of death, incapacity or resignation, implying therefore that an independent candidate cannot be substituted. It is clear that the late governor Leonard Mayaen is an independent candidate when he filed his candidacy for the May 9 elections.
But even if this is the case, proclamation of Mayaen’s daughter as substitute for his late father proceeded on the night of May 10, 2016 with the Provincial Board of Canvassers led by Capuyan. That is, despite the Comelec en banc decision, PBOC proceeded for the proclamation with argument that Mayaen got overwhelming votes of 60,664 in the recent May 9 elections. And were the 60,664 votes meant for Kathy Jyll Mayaen-Luis? Can we automatically say the people were voting for Kathy Jyll Mayaen?
        That is a question not surveyed what the votes meant casted for the late governor. Must be that even if the governor died, voters voted for him sentimentally with love, confidence and trust. Must be that they were voting for his daughter. Must be that voters voted for the late Governor to complete shading their ballots.
But whatever the reasons are, the legal fact remains that the substitution and the candidacy of Kathy Jyll Mayaen-Luis for the governorship of Mountain Province is illegal to follow the Comelec decision. Meaning the votes garnered by the deceased Mayaen cannot be used as votes for Kathy Jyll because the substitution is illegal and cannot be used as a basis to claim the votes for the daughter.
A legal fact that the PBOC led by Mountain Province Comelec supervisor Atty Elenita Julia Tabangin-Capuyan interprets as not conclusive but can still be contested. Following legal procedures and remedies, any case is not considered conclusive until the issue reaches the Supreme Court for the final decision and as I perceive Capuyan sees it that way. A contestable legal issue. 
Other lawyers have their views. An election lawyer said the arguments meant for Mayaen in the PBOC argument do not suffice using the case Wacnang vs Diasen because Diasen has a Certificate of Notification and Acceptance (CONA) from a political party albeit it came late. So Diasen belongs to a political party thus can be substituted by his wife. Lawyer and Cong ressman Maximo Dalog said, ‘to prevent further confusion let the issue be decided by Comelec”.
In another note, what gives? Why the persistence for Atty Kathy Jyll Mayaen-Luis to be the governor of Mountain Province imprinted by her being the daughter of deceased Governor Atty Leonard Mayaen. Whatever the reasons are legal or personal, I am moved to ask who is Kathy Jyll Mayaen-Luis.
As a registered voter of Mountain Province, I have all the reasons to know who she is. Which I forward that every voter worth her or his vote should know the candidate he/she is voting for and not just the reason that Kathy Jyll Mayaen- Luis is the daughter of the departed governor. Otherwise such a political choice furthers the very practice of political dynasties currently opposed by the national public. A practice that Mountain Province people don’t apply in the first place.
        Anyways, aside from being a lawyer and the daughter of the late governor, I know nothing of Atty Kathy Jyll Mayaen-Luis. I mean she has never served in any political position in Mountain Province whether as a barangay kagawad or barangay chairman, a municipal councilor or a board member or a vice governor for that matter.
Governors before they became one since Mountain Province became a separate province in April 7, 1967 served in lower positions either as board member in the case of Dalog and Mayaen, municipal mayor in the case of Sario Malinias, and vice governor in the case of Jaime Gomez. This means they know the place and the people where they come from. A fact that knowing means staying in Mountain Province with its concerns and issues in whatever scale and dimension, and serving the people considering their customs and traditions the Province being populated by five major indigenous tribes etc.
Where was Atty Kathy Jyll Mayaen through all her 37 years who suddenly appears and wants to become the governor of Mountain Province? Is this fair to the people of our beloved and only Mountain Province? Let her introduce herself not only as the daughter of deceased governor Leonard Mayaen but as someone capable and who knows the concerns and issues and people of the 10 towns of the land.
        The people have all the right to know who Kathy Jyll Mayaen-Luis is. Let her stay in Mountain Province for some time to serve the public before filing her candidacy. Or let her campaign in an election or a special election for that matter and let us know her. A very process which Comelec provides as giving 90 days for national candidates to campaign and 45 days for provincial and municipal contenders to present who they are. A contestable legal election issue in this case ends with the Comelec en banc decision and I add where the people are denied their right to know who they are voting for. 
            Isunga naragsak ti tattao nga mangibanga nu agparang ka nga agkampanya, ‘”ahh sika gayam ti kandidato


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