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Comelec upholds poll victory of Cong. Romarate

The Second Division of the Commission On Election dismissed for lack of merit the petition filed by losing NP congressional bet in the last May 2010 elections, former Surigao City Mayor Alfonso Cassura to nullify election results by the Provincial Board of Canvassers (PBOC) of Surigao del Norte declaring Second District Congressman-elect Guillermo A. Romarate, Jr. winner.

In its eight pages decision signed by Comelec Commissioners Elias Yusoph and Lucenito Tagle dated March 27, 2011 furnished to this writer, the Second Division of the Comelec ruled that the said petition docketed as SPC number 10-072 had no merit after the petitioner failed to present substantial evidence to support his allegations that the canvassing of the PBOC was done in a precipitate manner.

In the resolution, the poll body’s second division pointed out that the petition was in fact a mixture of a pre-proclamation controversy and an election protest over which the poll bodyhas no jurisdiction.

The Comelec Commissioners specifically made mention of the fact that Congressman Romarate has already been proclaimed and has already commenced serving his second term, which fact contradicted any claim of pre-proclamation controversy by the petitioner.

In same resolution, Commissioners Yusoph and Tagle also pointed out that petitioner Casurra cannot claim that his petition deals with alleged illegal proceedings of the PBOC discovered after proclamation considering that he and his lawyers were in fact very much aware of the same before the proclamation of Congressman Romarate.

Thus the COMELEC second division said it upholds poll victory of Congressman Romarate as earlier proclaimed by the Provincial Board of Canvassers or PBOC.

It can be recalled that the 2nd Division of the Comelec has also dismissed for lack of merit on January 19, 2011 a similar petition filed by former Surigao del Norte Governor Robert Ace Barbers, former Vice Governor Noel P. Catre and former Surigao City Mayor Alfonso S. Casurra against the Municipal Board of Canvassers of Sison, Surigao del Norte and Governor-elect Sol. F. Matugas, Vice Governor-elect Arturo Carlos A. Egay, Jr. and 2nd District Congressman-elect Guillermo A. Romarate. (PNA/Ben Serrano)

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