Comelec cancels Gov Tallado's COC; Tallado's camp files Motion for Recon

DAET, Camarines Norte -- The Certificate of Candidacy of Camarines Norte Gov. Edgardo “Egay” Tallado who is running for re-election as Governor was cancelled by the Commission on Elections.

In an eight-page ruling by the COMELEC’s First Division released on March 29, 2019, Tallado was found to be running for a fourth consecutive term, which violated the three-year term limit rule.

The Comelec said the pendency of Tallado's Petition for Review before the Court of Appeals on his suspension order meted by the Ombudsman meant that he did not vacate the office of Camarines Norte governor.

“If it was truly vacant, such permanent vacancy should have triggered the operation of Section 44 of LGC (Local Government Code) which governs succession in cases involving permanent vacancies in elective offices," the Comelec ruled.

"The Vice Governor should have succeeded and assumed the office of the governor the moment the respondent [Tallado] was handed the copy of the Ombudsman's decision [of his suspension],” it added.

“No succession ever took place. There was no break in the respondent's term,” the ruling maintained.

The petition for cancellation of the Certificate of Candidacy was filed by Norberto B.Villamin and Mayor Senandro Jalgalado of Capalonga town.

Meantime, Atty. George Garcia, Tallado’s election lawyer said in a statement that the decision of the COMELEC is not yet final and executory.

Garcia argued that there was an interruption in Tallado’s term when Vice Governor Jonah Pimentel assumed the position of Governor of Camarines Norte.

The ruling of the COMELEC First Division was signed by Commissioner Ma. Rowena Amelia V. Guanzon and Commissioner Marlon S. Casquejo, while Commissioner Al A. Parreño gave a dissenting opinion.

Parreño opined that Tallado involuntarily lost title to office during his 2016-2019 term when Pimentel took oath, thus the three-term limit rule was not violated.

Tallado’s camp said it has filed a Motion for Reconsideration on the said cancellation issue.