The Supreme Court has issued a restraining order enjoining the Commission on Elections from disqualifying a mayoralty candidate in Baguio City from joining the May 13 elections.
In a resolution dated April 11, the SC issued a status quo ante order enjoining the Comelec from implementing its Minute Resolution 19-0826 issued last March 6 that disqualified lawyer Edgar Avila from the mayoralty race for using the old certificate of candidacy form.
This emerged as the high court granted the immediate relief sought in the petition of Avila and allowed him to proceed with his candidacy pending resolution of the case.
“A Status Quo Ante Order is issued, effective immediately and continuing until further orders from this Court, ordering You, parties, your agents, representatives, or persons acting in your place or stead to maintain the status quo prevailing before the issuance of Comelec En Banc Minute Resolution 19-0286 dated March 6, 2019,” the resolution stated.
The SQA was issued upon order of Chief Justice Lucas Bersamin and recommendation by a member in charge of the case, Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio.
In the same order, the Court directed the Comelec to answer Avila’s petition and filed its comment within 10 days from notice.
In the assailed resolution, the poll body invalidated the candidacy of bets who used the “old format” in filing their COCs that did not have Item No. 22.
Item No. 22 states a question if a particular candidate was disciplined or found guilty or has pending criminal or administrative cases. This question is not present in the old format of the Comelec CoCs.
While the names of the candidates are already included in the ballots, the poll body disqualified them and declared that “they shall not be voted for, and any votes cast in their favor shall be considered stray.”