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Protest Against Dauis Mayor Jaime Jimenez Junked
« on: March 10, 2011, 09:54:04 AM »
By Sunday Post

A poll protest that hounded Dauis Mayor Jaime Jimenez since winning the mayoralty last May was thrown out by the First Division of the Commission on Elections for lack of merit. In a resolution promulgated Friday, the Comelec First Division presided over by Commissioner Rene Sarmiento affirmed the dismissal of a lower court ruling issued on June 24 with the subsequent appeal resolved and denied for lack of merit by the poll body. The petition was filed by Jimenez' closest mayoralty rival Victorio Migriño who in his election protest cited, among others: rampant violations of election laws, rules and regulations perpetrated by protestee and his cohorts during the May 10, 2010 in the Municipality of Dauis.

Migriño protested and questioned the results of the elections in the clustered precincts that functioned in the following barangays of Dauis: Poblacion, Mayacabac, Mariveles, Totolan, Bingag, Songculan and San Isidro. When the petition was filed before the Regional Trial Court Branch 48 under Presiding Judge Pablo Magdoza, the court denied the same for the reason that the cash deposit was beyond the prescribed time limit provided by the Rules of Court. The Official Receipt issued by the Clerk of Court, RTC, Multiple Salas would show that the cash deposit was made in June 7, 2010 or 17 days after the filing of the protest on May 21, 2010 and six days after the protestant received a copy of the order of the Court dismissing the instant case on June 1, 2010. Another ground for the summary dismissal of the instant election protest under Sec. 12, Rule 2 of A.M. No. 10-4-1SC but not included in the order of dismissal dated May 31,2010 for being unnecessary, is the fact that the petition is sufficient in form and substance as required under Section 10.

APPEAL

On appeal made by the protestant as a result of the RTC ruling, the Comelec First Division also cited the basis of the petition's dismissal the failure of the complainant to pay the corresponding cash deposit on time and insufficiency in form and substance as provided by the Rules. In the instant appeal, however, the protestant-appellant only chose to tackle the issue on cash deposit and kept mum on the issue on insufficiency of form and substance. On cash deposit, the Court ruled that in a protest case where cash deposit is required the deposit is not paid within five days from the filing of the protest, was a ground for dismissal. In dismissing the appeal on questions of insufficiency of form and substance, the Comelec thus ruled: While it is a settled rule that laws governing election protest must be interpreted to the end that the popular will expressed in the election of public officers will not be defeated by purely technical objections, the rule likewise stands, that the prescription that the petition must be sufficient in form and substance means that the petition must be more than merely rhetorical. If the allegations contained therein are unsupported by even the faintest whisper of authority in fact and in the law, then there is no other recourse than to dismiss the petition, otherwise, the assumption of an elected public official may, and will, always be held up by petition of this sort by the losing candidate.

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