Friday, October 9, 2015

Supreme Court sustains Abonal’s proclamation

NAGA CITY— The Supreme Court has dismissed the Petition for Certiorari filed by Romulo O. Hernandez against the Commission on Elections (Comelec) and Gabriel Ariel F. Abonal, in an En Banc notice issued last September 8.

Cam Sur Board Member Gabriel Ariel F. Abonal
Petitioner Hernandez alleged that the poll body had committed errors of jurisdiction or grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction, when it ordered the issuance of the writ of execution and the proclamation of Abonal as the duly elected member of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan for the 2nd district of Camarines Sur.

This case stemmed from a petition filed by Abonal, who was then a candidate for Board Member in the 2nd District of Camarines Sur against Hernandez.

In said case, Abonal maintained that Hernandez violated the three-term limit rule, and thus his certificate of candidacy (COC) must be cancelled or denied due course.

The Comelec 2nd Division sustained the view of respondent Hernandez.

Hernandez’ original contention was that he was still qualified to run for the same position because of the re-apportionment of the districts due to the passage of Republic Act 9716.

Abonal, however, did not believe the reasons behind the Comelec 2nd Division’s resolution.

Thus, he filed a motion for reconsideration of the said resolution to the Comelec En Banc, which granted the motion.

The order that was issued by poll body was again questioned by Hernandez, in a Petition for Certiorari to the Supreme Court.

The High Court in its En Banc resolution said that the poll body did not abuse its jurisdiction when it ordered the proclamation of Abonal as the duly elected member of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Camarines Sur.

In its ruling dated September 8, 2015, the Supreme Court explained: “To justify the issuance of the writ of certiorari, the abuse of discretion must be grave, as when the power is exercised in an arbitrary or despotic manner by reason of passion or personal hostility, and it must be so patent and gross as to amount to an evasion of a positive duty or to a virtual refusal to perform the duty enjoined, or to act at all, in contemplation of law as to be equivalent to having acted without jurisdiction.”

Furthermore, the SC said that the petitioner has the burden to prove that there is palpable error of jurisdiction on the part of the respondent tribunal whose decision he seeks to set aside. Yet, Hernandez miserably failed to prove the palpable error of jurisdiction on the part of the Comelec En Banc.

Based on the said Supreme Court resolution, Abonal is the duly-elected board member in the 2nd District of Camarines Sur.—BICOLSTANDARD.COM
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