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SC upholds disqualification of 'nuisance' bet in Agusan del Sur


The Supreme Court has upheld a Commission on Elections (Comelec) ruling disqualifying Mauricio Plaza Jr. from joining the congressional race in Agusan del Sur in the coming May elections. In a full court decision, the high tribunal said Mauricio failed to "sufficiently show grave abuse of discretion" on the part of Comelec when it disqualified him and struck his name off the Candidates' Profile System and Certified List of Candidates. Plaza was among the individuals declared by the Comelec as "nuisance" candidates through Comelec en banc Resolution 9610. "The procedures adopted by the Comelec in resolving petitions to deny due course to or to cancel certificate of candidacy, declare nuisance candidates, and disqualify candidates are consistent with its power to provide simplified procedural rules," the high court said. This power is enshrined under Section 3, Article IX-C of the 1987 Constitution, which authorizes the Comelec to promulgate its rules of procedure in order to expedite the disposition of election cases. The case started when Plaza filed a petition for review with the SC, asking it to intervene and order the Comelec to include him in the list of candidates for the coming elections. "The records would show that... Plaza was afforded his right to prove the legitimacy of his candidacy [before he was declared a nuisanc candidate]," the high court said in its ruling. — Mark D. Merueñas/KBK, GMA News