Comelec issues TRO versus Cruz’s assumption as mayor

PAMPLONA, Camarines Sur (Bicol Standard)—Commision on Elections (Comelec) Commissioner Socorro B. Inting issued a Temporary Restraining Order effective immediately and for a period of 60 days enjoining Hon. Soliman M. Santos, Jr., Presiding Judge, RTC Branch 61, Naga City and all persons under his direct supervision to cease and desist from enforcing and implementing or continuing to enforce and implement the Special Order dated Sept. 23, 2019 relative to Election Case No. 2019-0001 entitled Augustus Cesar M. Cruz, Petitioner, vs. Gemino A. Imperial.

The Order added further that in the event that the aforementioned Special Order has already been executed and Private Respondent Cruz has already assumed and performed the functions of Municipal Mayor of Pamplona, Camarines Sur, a status quo ante order, is issued enjoining parties to maintain the status prevailing prior to the issuance of the Special Order.

Said status quo ante order shall be valid for a period of 60 days effective immediately, the Order reads.

Meanwhile, the Petition that was filed by Gemino Imperial versus Judge Soliman Santos, Jr. and Augustus Cesar M. Cruz III is set for hearing on Friday, November 29, 2019 at the Comelec Hall, 8th Floor, Palacio del Gobernador Bldg., Intramuros, Manila.

The Order of Commissioner Inting was issued last October 28.

It will be recalled that during the last local election, Imperial ran for mayor against then incumbent mayor Cruz.

In the said election, Imperial won.

Cruz filed a quo warranto case against Imperial at RTC Branch 61.

The RTC granted the petition for quo warranto and annulled or voided the election and proclamation of Imperial.

Meanwhile, Cruz, being the next in rank (the second of only two candidates) was declared as duly-elected Municipal Mayor.

The same Decision was brought to Comelec on Sept. 10, 2019, where Commissioner Inting issued an order granting the TRO and/or a status quo ante order.