SC reverses Comelec decision on ex-CamNorte governor’s disqualification

September 12, 2019

THE Supreme Court (SC) granted the petition of Camarines Norte Gov. Edgardo Tallado questioning his disqualification by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to run in the May elections.

In a decision penned by Chief Justice Lucas P. Bersamin, the SC overturned the Comelec’s decision disqualifying Tallado to run in the gubernatorial race.

When Tallado was disqualified by the Comelec en banc, he elevated his case to the SC which issued a status quo ante order (SQAO), thus, allowing him to run in the May 2019 polls and  garnered 149,002 votes against his  opponent Cathy Barcelona-Reyes with 104,635 votes.

Voting 8-6, SC ruled that there was an involuntary interruption to office after he was dismissed from the service by the Ombudsman.

It stressed that Tallado was not able to complete his “three full terms” because of this interruption into office and, thus, must be allowed to seek another term.

Records showed that Tallado sought to run again for governor for the “fourth time” in view of his contention that his three terms in office was interrupted due to his dismissal from the service imposed by the Office of the Ombudsman.

The Comelec  en banc affirmed the ruling of its First Division cancelling the certificate of candidacy (CoC) of reelectionist Tallado.

The cancellation of  Tallado’s CoC stemmed from the petition of Norberto Villamin and Senandro Jalgalado who argued that the midterm elections would be his fourth term.

In 2015, then Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales suspended Tallado and, subsequently in March 2018, meted the penalty of perpetual disqualification from office.

The Ombudsman rulings originated from a complaint by former provincial veterinarian Edgardo Gonzales for grave abuse of authority and grave misconduct for Tallado’s relief of him from the position.