General & Misc

SC issues Status Quo Order on Baguio Mayoralty Poll Row

Date: 23 April 2019; Type: Legal News; Source: Philippines News Agency

MANILA, Apr 23 (PNA) - A mayoralty candidate in Baguio City can still run in the May polls despite being disqualified by the Commission on Elections (Comelec).

In its three-page status quo ante order dated April 11, the Supreme Court (SC) directed the Comelec against implementing its Minute Resolution No. 19-0286 dated last March 6 disqualifying lawyer Edgar Avila from the mayoralty race for using the old Certificate of Candidacy (COC) form.

"A Status Quo Ante Order is issued, effective immediately and continuing until further orders from this Court, ordering You, parties, your agents, representatives, or persons acting in your place or stead to maintain the status quo prevailing before the issuance of Comelec En Banc Minute Resolution No. 19-0286 dated March 6, 2019," read the order issued by Chief Justice Lucas Bersamin and upon the recommendation of SC member in charge of the case, Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio.

The Court also ordered the Comelec to answer Avila's petition and file its comment within 10 days in connection with a resolution of the poll body invalidating the candidacy of bets who used the "old format" in filing their COCs that did not have Item No. 22.

Item No. 22 asks if a particular candidate was disciplined or found guilty or has pending criminal or administrative cases. This question is not present in the old format of the Comelec COC.

While the names of the candidates are already included in the ballots, the poll body disqualified them and declared that "they shall not be voted for, and any vote cast in their favor shall be considered stray."

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