more face same fate
asked to bar
two candidates for mayor
Commission on Elections (COMELEC) has
received separate petitions to declare an
aspirant for San Miguel's top post as a
nuisance candidate and to disqualify
Lakas-NUCD’s mayoral bet in Bagamanoc
for being a US citizen, with two more poll
bets expected to be the target of similar
week, petitioners Florendo P. Bernal and
his running mate, former Kag. Victorio R.
Plantilla, formally asked COMELEC to
declare as nuisance and/or deny due course
to and cancel the candidacy of Armando T.
Bernal for the post of municipal mayor.
duo said Bernal, a former barangay captain
from Obo, filed his certificate of
candidacy last Feb. 28, 2001 "to put
the electoral process in mockery and
to the petition, Bernal, who is running as
an independent candidate, is jobless and
has no visible source of income. It
added that "he is incapable of
undergoing a full-blown campaign; neither
is he financially capable to spend even
for his propaganda materials."
and Plantilla claimed that the ex-village
chief was only prevailed upon to file his
candidacy during the last day of filing by
Mayor Francisco T. Camano, Jr., Florendo
Bernal's archrival, and will cause
confusion among the voters due to the
similarity of names.
told COMELEC that Bernal "has no bona
fide intention to run for office," as
he was never known in his own barangay
that he would be a candidate that his
barriomates were surprised to learn of his
candidacy for mayor.
the other hand, former provincial board
member Ruben B. Gonzales’s petition
filed with the COMELEC last Monday claimed
that Tito V. De Leon, mayoral candidate of
Lakas-NUCD-UMDP, is ineligible and
disqualified from running for
Bagamanoc’s highest post as he and his
family are permanent residents and
citizens of the United States of America.
alleged that de Leon did not renounce and
waive his US citizenship in accordance
with election laws before he filed his
certificate of candidady last Feb. 28,
2001. He said that as early as Feb. 2, he
wrote the US embassy to confirm whether de
Leon had obtained American citizenship but
the embassy replied that he is no longer
within the Philippine consular district.
American Citizen Services Branch chief
Paul L. Boyd told Gonzales that the
Privacy Act of 1974 prohibits the release
of information without the consent of the
petition claimed that on or about 1970, de
Leon transferred residence to the USA
where he permanently and continuously
resided with his wife and children at No.
7795 Beverly Drive, Rohnert Park,
California until Oct. 26, 2000 when he
visited Bagamanoc “only to register as
voter in Precinct No. 7-A in barangay
Poblacion. The registration was approved
on Jan. 11, 2001. It added that after his
registration, the respondent returned to
the US and came back again to file his
certificate of candidady last month.
stressed that from 1970 to date, or a
period of 28 years, de Leon was never a
registered voter of Bagamanoc and never
voted in any national, local and barangay
elections therein. “To aggravate
matter,” Gonzales said, “the
respondent registered as voter in Precinct
No. 7-A… while in his Certificate of
Candidady, he claims to be registered in
Precinct No. 2-A.”
perusal of the certificate shows that de
Leon, who claimed to be an `investor,’
had resided for 27 years in the country
and 39 years in Bagamanoc. But a joint
affidavit by Poblacion barangay captain
Senen Villaluna and day care worker
Leonisa Villalon averred that de Leon
indeed was out of the municipality from
1970 to Oct. 2000 when he took a vacation.
The duo said that during the same period,
de Leon never voted in in any barangay or
local election during the period and never
resided in the barangay as he has no
residential house in Bagamanoc. It is
claimed that de Leon reportedly brought a
$200,000 war chest for the campaign.
analysts say these could be followed in
the next few days by similar
disqualification moves against two
candidates for governor.
cited the candidacies of Gregorio S.
Verceles and Romeo T. Torres, Jr. for
governor, both as independents. A
businessman from Palawig, San Andres,
surname is similar to top Lakas-NUCD-UMDP
bet Rep. Leandro B. Verceles, Jr. On the
other hand, Torres, who uses the handle
"John Torres" in his regular
column in the Sanchez-backed Catanduanes
Chronicle, presented "Kuya Jun"
as his nickname in the certificate of
candidacy he filed with COMELEC, similar
to the "Jun" used by the
ONE, TAKE ONE. Rep.
Leandro B. Verceles, Jr. and wife Natsy
Verceles are all smiles after filing their
certificates of candidacy as governor and
congressman, respectively, with the
COMELEC provincial office last week.
ABOUT RUNNING. Coalition
candidates Cesar Sarmiento (sitting),
Joseph Santiago and Gov. Hector S. Sanchez
displays the seriousness of their campaign
as they wait for COMELEC to accept their
than 50 flitches of illegally cut lumber
seized by police in Pagsangahan, San
Miguel may end up being declared
"abandoned" if the owner,
allegedly a candidate for mayor, has his
(052) 811-1267 or 811-2640