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Son Jala Was Never A Resident in the Third District
« on: May 07, 2007, 05:30:04 PM »
A disqualification petition was filed against third congressional candidate Adam Relson Jala at the provincial Comelec office last Friday bringing the number of disqualification cases to 20 with only a week into the May 14 polls.

Meanwhile, the candidacy of reelectionist Candijay Mayor Sergio Amora may be nullified together with his entire slate as their opponents filed a petition to nullify their certificates of candidacies (COC) at the Comelec.

It may be recalled that disqualification cases are also pending at the Comelec against two other 3rd district congressional aspirants, former Gov. Rene Relampagos and senior board member Dionisio Balite.

Jala's petitioner , one Emmanuel Lagura, a resident of Tambangan, Loay town, questioned the residency status of the congressional bet who claims to be a resident and registered voter of barangay Camayaan in Loboc town.

Lagura stated in his petition that Jala, son of outgoing Rep. Eladio Jala, is "publicly known to be actually residing at their family mansion in Makati City or Dao District, this city.

A copy of the young Jala's COC obtained by petitioner and filed on March 29, 2007, allegedly contained "a false statement" as it declared that the "period of residence in the legislative district before May 14, 2007 [is] 27 years and 9 months."

The petitioner further alleged that Jala "has never been an actual or legal resident of Camayaan, Loboc for he does not own a parcel of land at the said municipality" as evidenced by a certification obtained by the petitioner from the Loboc Municipal Assessor's Office.

Lagura stated further in his petition that, even the respondent's parents do not own a parcel of land at Camayaan, Loboc as seen in another certification from the Municipal Assessor's Office.

The petitioner alleged that "well-meaning residents of Loboc" are ready to prove that "there was never a time when respondent (Jala) slept at the said place" every time he is in Bohol from Metro Manila since "he stays at their residence in Dao (Tagbilaran City)."

A copy of PLDT's telephone directory was attached to the complaint to prove the Dao residence.

Under the Constitution, a candidate for the House of Representatives must be a resident of the congressional district where he is running "for a period of not less than one year immediately preceding the day of the election."

The petition quoted Gayo vs. Verceles, 452 SCRA 504 that the term "residence", as used in the election law, imports not only an intention to reside in a fixed place but also a personal presence in that place, coupled with conduct indicative of such intention.

On the other hand, Candijay Mayor Amora, running mate Arlene Caadlawon and candidates for kagawad Jimmy Busano, Benjamin Dotarot, Anecito Mapute, Aurelio Nalugon, Raul Piquero, Timoteo Pizana and Antonio Po are petitioned for their "void and falsified COCs."

The petition was filed by mayoralty aspirant Monina Camacho, running mate Ann Piquero-Dy and their candidates for councilor.

According to the petitioners, they discovered that the "COCs of the respondents were allegedly notarized in Tagbilaran City by Notary Public Rey G. Amora on March 28, 2007," which the petitioners claimed "is false because on that very day [the notary public] was in his law office in Candijay, Bohol, where he actually notarized the COC of the respondents."

Moreover, the petitioners claimed that the COC of respondent, Mayor Sergio Amora Jr., was notarized and administered by the notary public (Rey G. Amora) who is his brother, allegedly violating the 2004 Rules on Notarial Practice. The rule was promulgated by the Supreme Court which prohibits notarial acts for relatives within the fourth civil degree.

On the same day that the notary public subscribed the COCs of the respondent-candidates, he was in the town of Guindulman and his residence in Candijay, not in Tagbilaran City as registered in the COCs.

Moreover, the petitioners claimed that the notary public (Rey G. Amora) "has no notarial jurisdiction in Candijay, Bohol, which is under the territorial jurisdiction of RTC-Branch 51, Carmen, Bohol, because his notarial appointment was issued by the Executive Judge, RTC-Tagbilaran City whose territorial jurisdiction is Tagbilaran City and suburbs which is 100 kilometers away from Candijay town."

Petitioners also established in their petition that about 50 COCs from the towns of Anda, Alicia, Mabini, Guindulman and Candijay were subscribed by notary public (Rey G. Amora) in his office in Candijay town on March 28, 2007.

Accordingly, the notary public "has no house or office in Tagbilaran City since he passed the Bar since he has been holding office in his residence in Poblacion, Candijay."

With more than a week into the May 14 elections, three more disqualification petitions against local candidates have been filed at the provincial Comelec office.

"The COC of respondent Sergio Amora Jr. is doubly voided because he is the full-blood brother of Notary Public," the petitioners stated.

OTHER CASES

Other recent petitions were filed against Calape mayoralty aspirant Dr. Sulpicio Yu Jr. by one Diosdada Ytaoc for allegedly violating the provisions of the Fair Elections Act or RA 9006. Yu's advertisement in a local newspaper, which exceeded the allowed political print advertisement by the Comelec, was the subject of the petition.

Meanwhile, another disqualification case is lodged against former Gov. Rene Relampagos, who is now running for the 3rd district's congressional seat. The petition is based on the grounds of Relampagos' alleged failure to comply with residency requirements for an individual to run as member of the House of Representatives.

Likewise, another petition for disqualification is filed against a Sangguniang Bayan (SB) candidate in Guindulman town, Martin Lagura Jr., for lack of residency requirement.

Similar petitions for disqualification are filed against Getafe vice mayoralty bet Vicente Jimenez Torregosa and SB aspirant Victoriano Suello Jr. filed by one Asterio Suello.

Bohol electors are still awaiting resolution of the 16 other petitions now being reviewed by the Comelec en banc in Manila. The four recent cases will be brought to the Commission's central office this week.

Even the local opposition's stalwart, 1st district congressional bet Victor dela Serna, is left on his own resources to face the formidable two-term 1st district solon, Rep. Edgar Chatto.

Consistent frontrunner Loren Legarda came a day ahead of fellow GO senatorial bets Benigno Aquino III, Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III, Sonia Malasarte Roco and Anna Dominique Coseteng and re-electionist Panfilo Lacson.

Surprisingly, Sen. Jinggoy Estrada also came with the opposition senatoriables to officially proclaim local candidates led by first district congressional bet Victor de la Serna, gubernatorial candidate Bobby Cericos, vice gubernatorial aspirant Freda Tirol, 1st district candidate for board member Mayor Yul Lopez and their municipal candidates. (Kit Bagaipo)

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published in the Bohol Chronicle

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29-year old Congressman Jala Wants Lottery in Bohol

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