Dinagat belongs to Surigao-SC says with finality, ordered COMELEC to conduct Special Elections without delay…

After showing its most diplomatic gesture on the embattled Dinagat Case deliberation, the Supreme Court (SC) finally ended up the long political agony after issuing an En Banc Notice dated January 11, 2011 signed and released on January 26, 2011 by Enriqueta E. Vidal, Clerk of Court of the Supreme Court granting the Motion for Execution of Judgment declaring R.A. 9355 or an Act creating the Province of Dinagat Islands unconstitutional.

The High Tribunal also grant under paragraph (g) on that same en banc notice directing the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) to conduct a “Special Elections” as soon as possible for all affected positions in the Province of Surigao del Norte and enjoining the respondents and other respective counsels from further submitting new and/or additional pleadings under pain of contempt of court, in view of the finality of its decision.

The same statement under paragraph (a), the Supreme Court noting without action the motion for Entry of Judgment dated August 20, 2010 filed by Counsel of the Petitioners considering that the Entry of Judgment was already made on May 18, 2010 and further GRANT the prayer for an immediate Motion for Execution.

Atty. Victor Bernal, counsel for the petitioners in a telephone interview with this writer, said that he felt so vindicated with the Supreme Court’s finality in resolving the prolonged court debate on their petition filed under G.R. No.180050 (Rodolfo Navarro, et.al. vs. Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita, et.al.)

“All the discussions on these case is over and no other further pleadings and discussions will be entertained as Supreme Court declares its finality”, Bernal said.

“We are all vindicated and happy with this decision”, he added.

Bernal disclosed “it is clearly stated in this En Banc Notice that the Supreme Court also made a direct order to the COMELEC to conduct a Special Election as soon as possible.”

Bernal also stressed further that it is also logical and precise for the DILG to appoint new officials in acting capacity to serve as caretakers while waiting for the schedule of the special elections.

It was provided earlier in COMELEC Resolutions 8790 which was issued prior to the May 10 Elections that “if the final decision of the Supreme Court will come out after May 10, 2010 Elections, the result of the elections in affected areas will be considered Null and Void and a Special Elections shall have to be conducted for the positions of Governor, Vice Governor, Member of House of Representative including Members of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan in District 1 Surigao del Norte and Dinagat Islands”.

Jade’s reaction

Dinagat Islands Vice Governor Geraldine “Jade” Ecleo, in an exclusive interview with this writer, said “I was very disappointed upon hearing Supreme Court’s notice…but we are still hoping for a miracle to happen, but if it’s really final then we can do nothing but to accept it”.

Lately, Vice Governor Ecleo made a one-on one dialogue with DBM Secretary Florencio Abad in Butuan City on the matter of withheld Internal Revenue Allotment for Dinagat Province.

Ecleo felt dismayed on Abad’s statement informing her that the Budget Department was no longer considering the release of IRA intended for Dinagat following the last year’s Entry of Judgment issued by the High Court nullifying Dinagat Province.

Reports bared that Dinagat IRA was not even included in the National Budget of 2011 because of the impending court order.

However, the vice governor really need to have a written order coming from the department’s concerned for their perusal on the actual status of their IRA.

I still win

Surigao del Norte Governor Sol Matugas refrained from giving direct statements on the possibility of special elections, however, she simply dismissed speculations that there might have change of political landscape in the days to come.


In reaction to the text message sent to a radio anchor by Dinagat Mayor Gwendolyn Ecleo-Durano stating the latter’s declaration of ECLEO’s strong alliance with the Matugases,

“It is my deep privilege hearing that declaration…I really wanted to reach out with people to join my administration”, she disclosed.

Well if special elections will take place, “I WILL SURELY WIN” and there’s no doubt about that…My foes should be vigilant…WIN NA WIN” Sol’s jubilant note in an interview with the local media recently.

The Divided Ecleo’s

Vice Gov. Ecleo made it clear that as of now, the Ecleos are divided in two separate groups. “It is a public knowledge that the Ecleo’s are divided…They have their own group and I have my own camp…I am standing alone with the help of God and my father Ruben Sr.”, she said.

On the possibility of reconciliation with her siblings in the future days, the lady vice governor stressed, she has never hated her mother Dinagat Governor Glenda Ecleo and her kin’s.

“I have never hated them, I always loved them and they’re always in my heart…We only argue on our principles”, Jade said.

But on the context of letting her swallow her principles in the name of reconciliation, that she cannot do, Jade Ecleo vehemently disclosed.

“For as long as I think that it is not good and right in accordance to what I believed to be the dictates of my conscience, I will not swallow my principles”, V-Gov. Jade said.

Ace compassion

Distancing himself in the light of the issue, former Governor Ace Barbers had conveyed compassion with the Ecleo’s on the turn of events happening these days.

Former Gov. Ace Barbers
He said that he felt so sad upon hearing the news that Dinagat Islands lone Representative Ruben Ecleo Jr. is facing expulsion from the House after the Sandiganbayan ruled with finality on his convictions of three graft cases.

Though privy on the issuing statements on Supreme Court’s latest en banc notice on Dinagat case, the former governor said he will just observe what happens next.

The Barbers family is considered a traditional political ally of the Ecleo’s since time immemorial. Record speaks well that Barbers helped the Ecleo’s much in all their previous court battles. It was even the late Senator Bobby Barbers who was then instrumental for Bobong Ecleo’s temporary liberty after court granted him to post bail bond on the parricide case filed against him nine years ago. (Natz Corbeta, Editor/Publisher, Karaga News Central)



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