Cagayan Gov. Mamba keeps seat after Comelec reverses December ruling
The Commission on Elections has reversed its December 14 resolution which disqualified Cagayan Governor Manuel Mamba from Eleksyon 2022.
In a resolution released on Monday, the Comelec en banc reversed the Comelec Second Division's resolution which disqualified Mamba over the alleged disbursement of government funds from March 25 to May 8, 2022.
The Comelec en banc said the commission had no jurisdiction to rule on Mamba's disqualification because the petition was filed after his proclamation.
The commission, however, referred the allegations against Mamba to its law department for the conduct of a preliminary investigation.
Records showed that Mamba was proclaimed governor of Cagayan at 1:39 a.m. on May 11.
The petition for disqualification was filed by Ma. Zarah Rose De Guzman Lara via email at 6:21 p.m. of May 10, which was beyond office hours that ended at 5 p.m.
The Comelec said the petition was deemed received the following working day at 8 a.m. on May 11.
The Comelec en banc said that while Mamba's proclamation has blocked the filing of petitions for his disqualification, the criminal aspect of a disqualification case may still be filed even after a candidate had been proclaimed.
The commission said this could still result in the disqualification of one who had violated the law not only in a particular election when the violation was committed but also for other official posts in future elections.
The Comelec cited the Supreme Court ruling in Lanot vs. Comelec, in which the High Tribunal held that Comelec Law Department had the authority to determine whether there is probable cause to file a case for an election offense against a candidate and file a criminal case before the proper court. —NB, GMA Integrated News