MANILA–The Supreme Court (SC) dismissed the petition filed against the Commission on Elections for upholding the candidacy of La Union Second District Rep. Sandra Young Eriguel.
The SC junked the petition for certiorari filed by Eriguel’s rival Paulino Nonan questioning her candidacy and qualifications.
“The court dismissed this petition…for failure to show that the respondent Commission on Elections (Comelec) committed grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess in jurisdiction when in its February 15, 2017 resolution, it dismissed for lack of jurisdiction petitioner’s petition to deny due course to or cancel certificate of candidacy of Eriguel…” read the court resolution dated March 27, 2017.
According to the SC, records show that during the pendency of the case with the Comelec, supervening factors had taken place.
In particular, the SC said Eriguel had won in the elections, had been proclaimed, had taken her oath and assumed office as member of the House of Representatives.
“It is jurisprudentially settled that once a winning candidate had been proclaimed, taken her oath, and assumed office, the Comelec’s jurisdiction over election contests relating to her election, returns, and qualifications ends, and the HRET’s [House of Representative Electoral Tribunal] own jurisdiction begins,” the high court noted.
“In fine, the Comelec did not commit any grave abuse of discretion when it declared that it had already lost jurisdiction over the case when during the pendency thereof, respondent had been elected a member of the House…” the court further held in its ruling promulgated by clerk of court Felipa Anama.
The SC also said that the proper authority to resolve the question on respondent’s qualifications is now the HRET.
Under Article VI, Section 17 of the Constitution, the Senate and the House shall each have an electoral tribunal which shall be the sole judge of all contests relating to the election, returns, and qualifications of their respective members.