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Comelec disqualifies Legazpi City mayor Rosal

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The Commission on Elections (COMELEC) Second Division has disqualified Mayor Carmen Geraldine Rosal of Legazpi City, Albay due to the release cash aid to tricycle drivers and senior citizens prior the May 9 polls

“Here, there is no doubt in Our minds that herein Respondent committed acts which violate the law– sufficient to disqualify her from running as a candidate in the 2022 elections,” reads the 19-page resolution dated Oct. 4 and signed by Presiding Commissioner Marlon Casquejo and Commissioner Rey Bulay.

The poll body granted the petition for disqualification filed by Joseph San Juan Armogila who accused Rosal of violating the 45-day ban in the release, disbursement, or expenditure of public funds.

“Evidently, it was established that Respondent appears to have benefited from the Local Unit’s project where public funds were definitely released, disbursed, and spent to sponsor the cash pay-out or assistance to the tricycle drivers and senior citizens,” it stated.

Armogilia alleged in his petition that prior the elections there P2,000 were distributed to tricycle drivers and senior citizens who availed the cash assistance.

At that time, her husband, Albay Governor Noel Rosal, was the incumbent mayor.

In its ruling, the poll body disagreed with the stance of the respondent that the cash assistance was exempted from the ban.

“What should have been done by the Local Government Unit was to file a petition before the Clerk of the Commission for the Issuance of Certificate of Exception for social welfare projects they intended to implement during the prohibited period,” reads the ruling “Such certificate removes the release, disbursement of expenditure of public funds during the period of prohibition beyond inquiry,” it explained.

Though she claimed she was not a public official during the distribution of the cash aid, the poll body cited that under the Omnibus Election Code states that “no candidate or his or her spouse or member of his family within the second civil degree of affinity or consanguinity shall participate, directly or indirectly, in the distribution xxx.”

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