A petitioner has posed a challenge to former Foreign Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano and his wife Lani
, who are both running in separate districts in Taguig in the 2019 midterm elections.
The petitioner, Leonides Buac Jr., also described the Cayetano family as a “super dynasty” in Taguig.
Buac Jr. is asking the Commission on Elections to reject the Cayetanos’ certificates of candidacy, arguing that “a married couple can only maintain one legal residence at any given time.”
Cayetano is running in the first congressional district, while his wife Lani, the incumbent city mayor, is seeking a House seat for the second district.
“In claiming two different and separate domiciles, the Cayetano spouses absurdly represent that they habitually reside in two different localities,” the petitioner said.
“That despite their marriage, their animus manendi or intention to remain lie in two different places, which is contrary to settled jurisprudence and even the Family Code.”
The petition said the couple’s simultaneous congressional run
was intended to “enable the Cayetano family to encroach on the neighboring district and to take control of all the legislative districts of Taguig.”
READ: Cayetanos affirm bids for mayor, solon of Taguig
It also raised “serious legal infirmities as to their qualifications.”
Buac’s petition also hopes that the Comelec would enforce the constitutional ban against political dynasty. He described the Cayetanos as a “perfect example of a political dynasty,” which the 1987 Constitution sought to prohibit.
But George Garcia, counsel for the Cayetano spouses brushed aside the petition for its supposed “weakness and shallowness.”
“We have the law and jurisprudence on our side, so how can we be afraid?” he told ABS-CBN News.
He added that the Comelec should immediately dismiss the case.
Meanwhile, in a joint statement, the Cayetanos said their candidacies were meant to ‘simply continue our public service. We are running because our constituents trust us that their interests would continue to be promoted and protected. The disqualification cases, from the correct perspective, are irrelevant to our constituents’ desire. On May 2019, we will submit to the people’s will. This is what truly matters. This is what only matters.”
“That said, we would like to assure the electorate of Taguig and Pateros of our absolute preparedness to answer point by point the issues raised in these disqualification cases,” the statement said.