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Comelec division cancels COCs of 2 SK bets for violating poll rules

The Second Division of the Commission on Elections has cancelled the certificates of candidacy of two individuals running for the position of Sangguniang Kabataan chairman over material misrepresentation.

In a statement, Comelec Spokesperson Rex Laudiangco said the COC of Merson C. Calubag, SK chairman candidate in Barangay Magtangale, San Francisco, Surigao del Norte was cancelled today after the Comelec Second Division found that he is the son of a Sangguniang Barangay member in the same barangay.

The cancellation of Calubag’s COC stemmed from a petition dated September 2 which claimed that his COC contained material misrepresentation, which is a ground for denial or cancellation, pursuant to Section 78 of the Omnibus Election Code (OEC) and Section 591(a), Article XIX of COMELEC Resolution No. 10924.

“Merson C. Calubag's declarations in his COC that he is not related within the 2nd civil degree of consanguinity to an incumbent elected official in the locality where he seeks to be elected, and that he is eligible for the office to which he seeks to be elected, are material because they 'pertain to his qualifications’ and these material declarations are false since ‘[his] mother .. is an incumbent Barangay Kagawad’ in the same locality,” Laudiangco’s statement read.

He also mentioned Section 10 of Republic Act 10742 which mandates that an SK Official "must not be related within the second civil degree of consanguinity or affinity to any incumbent elected national official or to any incumbent elected regional, provincial, city, municipal, or barangay official, in the locality where he or she seeks to be elected."

Aside from the cancellation of the COC, the Comelec division has directed the Law Department to conduct preliminary investigation relative to the election offense aspect of this case.

The same Comelec division cancelled the COC of Ivy Jane Parohinog Miranda who is seeking the position of SK chairman of Barangay Malag-it, Calinog, Iloilo.

Laudiangco said Miranda was also disqualified after the Second Division found that she committed material misrepresentation in her COC when she declared that she did not have any relative within the second civil degree of consanguinity or affinity who is currently an incumbent elected official in the locality where she seeks to be elected.

"'The resignation letter of her father was not valid, for the reason that it was not filed before the proper authority or before the Municipal Mayor of Calinog, Iloilo who has the power to act on the said resignation. Consequently, [her] father, June Mirandal] is still deemed an incumbent elective local official of the same barangay when she filed her COC,” Laudiangco’s statement read.

According to the Comelec spokesperson, Miranda filed her COC on 31 August 2023 while the resignation letter of her father who was an incumbent Sangguniang Bayan Member in the same barangay was filed before the wrong office, or the Department and Interior and Local Government (DILG), and only on 4 September 2023, or four (4) days after she filed her COC.

“Thus, the resignation of her father, June Miranda, failed to comply with Section 82(a)(4) of the Local Government Code of 1991, which provides that the resignation of a Barangay official is effective only upon acceptance by the Mayor or after 15 days from receipt if not acted upon,” he said.

Laudiangco said decisions of a Division on a petition for disqualification may still be raised before the Comelec en banc citing specific grounds.—LDF, GMA Integrated News