BONTOC, Mountain Province – – The first division of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) stopped the assumption to office of Atty. Cathy Jyll Mayaen alias Cathy Jyll M. Luis to the gubernatorial post of Mountain Province and from discharging the functions of the office pending the resolution of the petition for quo warranto filed before the poll body.
In a 2-page order signed by Presiding Commissioner Christian Robert S. Lim and Member Commissioners Louie Tito F. Guia and Ma. Rowena Amelia V. Guanzon, the poll body granted the prayer of former Otucan Sur Sanggunaing Kabataan (SK) chairman Thom Tawagen for the issuance of a writ of preliminary junction to prevent the younger Mayaen from assuming the province’s gubernatorial post since she was not allowed to be a substitute candidate for his deceased father, the late Gov. Leonard G. Mayaen, after the Commission en banc denied her certificate of candidacy as substitute for her father.
The order stated that the duly elected Vice governor Bonifacio Lacwasan, Jr. shall assume the office of Acting Governor pursuant to Title II, Chapter II of Republic Act (RA) 7160 or the Local government code of 1991.
The Comelec also ordered Tawagen to post a bond of P100,000 which shall answer for damages that the respondent may sustain by reason of the injunction if it will be finally decided that she is not entitled to the injunction and that the bond allowed the writ of preliminary injunction to be operative effective June 29, 2016.
“It appears from the facts shown by the petitioner (Tawagen) in the subject petition for quo warranto and indirect contempt with prayer for the issuance of writ of preliminary injunction that great and irreparable injury would result to him before the issue on the subject petition can be resolved by the Commission (first division). The Commission (first division) hereby deems the prayer of the petitioner for the issuance of a writ of preliminary injunction to be in order, as it finds the issues raised by the petitioner very serious. Considering that the merits of the case will be resolved in due time and that the interest of justice will not be best served if these issues will be rendered moot and academic, the Commission (first division), following the dictates of prudence and fair play, hereby grants, the issuance of the writ of preliminary injunction, pending the resolution of the main petition,” the order stated.
The poll body ordered the Provincial Election Supervisor Ricardo Lampac to serve the order to the concerned parties, including the provincial local government operations officer of the Department of the Interior and Local government (DILG) for their information and guidance.
Earlier, Tawagen petitioned the poll body to prevent Ms. Mayaen from assuming her post as provincial governor of the province considering that she was not allowed by the Commission en banc to be a substitute candidate for her father who succumbed to cardiac arrest on March 31, 2016.
The petitioner argued that the fact that her certificate of candidacy as a substitute for her father was denied considering that independent candidates who are either incapacitated or die prior to the elections are not entitled to substitutes pursuant to the provisions of the Omnibus election code.