Baguio city – The Commission on Elections (Comelec) Friday announced that the conduct of special elections for the vacant position of Provincial governor in the province is likely once the first division will rule that Atty. Kathy Jyll Mayaen is not entitled to substitute her deceased father, Gov. Leonard G. Mayaen, for the May 9, 2016 elections.
Commissioner Maria Rowena Amelita Guanzon,a member of the Comelec first division, said the people of Mountain Province should not worry about being deprived of having a duly elected Provincial governor because what is being awaited is the decision of the poll body on the petition for quo warrant filed by Thom Tawagen, a duly registered voter of the province.
“We will resolve the pending case the soonest that is why we came out with a writ of preliminary injunction to put things in order and avoid the [possible vacuum of leadership in the province. We want the smooth operation of the provincial government to go on that is why we allowed Vice Governor Bonifacio Lacwasan, Jr. to be the Acting governor so as not to affect the delivery of services to the people,” Commissioner Guanzon stressed.
In the event that the Comelec will find out that Atty. Mayaen will not be entitled to substitute her father, the Comelec official pointed out that the poll body will then schedule the required special elections to allow the people to vote for their desired candidate for Provincial governor.
It was learned that Atty. Mayaen filed a motion for reconsideration with the Commission en banc questioning the earlier decision of the first division to issue a writ of preliminary injunction prohibiting her from assuming the position of Provincial governor as her certificate of candidacy to substitute her father was denied by the Commission en ban by virtue of Minute Resolution No. 2016-0342 alleging among others that the members of the first division erred in coming out with the said ruling.
According to Commissioner Guanzon, the parties were given the prescribed reglamentary period to file their respective memoranda before the first division will rule on the matter, except if the parties decide to avail of other legal remedies that might further delay the promulgation of the resolution by the poll body.
Commissioner Guanzon admitted the case of Mountain Province is peculiar that is why the poll body is looking into all possible angles of the case prior to rendering a final decision so as not to deprive the people of the province of a deserving local official who will lead them for the next three years.
She explained the people of the province can still avail of the services of government because of the mechanisms that were put in place which is the assumption of Vice |governor Lacwasan as Provincial governor to temporarily act as the father of the province while the case is being heard and awaiting final resolution of both parties decide to submit the case for final ruling by the first division although it will be appealable to the Commission en banc and eventually the Supreme Court (SC) depending o the legal strategies of both parties.
By Dexter A. See