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SC issues status quo ante order on Rosal disqualification

The Supreme Court has issued a status quo ante order on the Commission on Elections' disqualification of Carmen Geraldine Rosal and its order to proclaim election second placer Alfredo Garbin Jr. as mayor of Legazpi City.

“The Supreme Court En Banc deemed it necessary and proper to… issue a Status Quo Ante Order requiring the parties to observe the status quo prevailing before the issuance of the Comelec Resolutions dated October 4, 2022 and May 4, 2023,” the Court said in a statement.

In the Comelec en banc resolution promulgated May 4, the poll body said Rosal should be disqualified as a candidate for mayor of Legazpi City, Albay for “giving money to influence, induce, or corrupt voters,” a violation stated under Section 68(a) of the Omnibus Election Code.

Comelec also ruled to proclaim second-placer Alfredo Garbin Jr. as duly-elected city mayor.

On Wednesday, Comelec issued a certificate of finality and entry of judgment on Rosal’s disqualification.

The Supreme Court consolidated two petitions for certiorari which sought to disqualify Rosal as a candidate and to direct the Special City Board of Canvassers of Legazpi City to proclaim Garbin as mayor.

The SC also directed the poll body, Garbin, defeated Legazpi City council candidate Joseph Armogila, Rosal, and Cristobal to file a consolidated within 10 days from notice.

Armogila and Rosal were candidates for councilor and mayor of Legazpi, respectively, in the 2022 National and Local Elections.

The SC said Armogila filed a petition for disqualification against Rosal before the COMELEC on the grounds of vote buying.

The Court said it WOULD reconvene as a Court En Banc on June 12 as it is on a month-long intensive decision writing.

Meanwhile, Comelec spokesperson Atty. Rex Laudiangco confirmed the receipt of the SC ruling, saying it will abide by and comply.

“Said compliance of COMELEC with established processes guarantee all parties to the case the opportunity to avail of all legal remedies under our jurisdiction,” Laudiangco said in a message to reporters. —NB, GMA Integrated News