Thu. May 26th, 2022

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has dismissed a petition to cancel the certificate of candidacy (COC) of broadcaster Raffy Tulfo who is running for senator.

(sunstar.com.ph)

In a nine-page decision penned by Second Division presiding Commissioner Socorro Inting, the petition filed by Julieta Licup Pearson, who claimed to be married to the respondent was denied for lack of merit.

“In sum, the Petition does not have any legal leg to stand on. On account of the foregoing disquisitions, it becomes readily apparent that the instant Petition is bereft of any merit. Hence, the instant Petition must be denied. Other matters deserve scant consideration. Wherefore, premises considered, the Petition is hereby denied,” said the decision promulgated on Dec. 16, 2021, but was only made public on Thursday.

The ruling said the petitioner failed to show proof of Tulfo’s supposed material misrepresentation on his COC when she did not include the said document in her petition.

Pearson claimed that she is the legal wife of Tulfo and not Jocelyn Pua Tulfo, whom the candidate declared as his spouse in his COC.

“At this juncture, We note with disdain Petitioner’s failure to submit a copy of Respondent’s COC. Because of her omission, We have no way of determining whether the entries as claimed by Petitioner to have been made by Respondent in his COC really exist. For lack of a better way to put it, Petitioner’s evidence is grossly insufficient considering that the COC it sought to cancel was not even attached to the Petition,” the decision read.

It added that if there was indeed a misrepresentation on the part of Tulfo on the name of his legal spouse, this is not enough basis to cancel his COC.

“Granting that herein Respondent actually misrepresented the name of his legal spouse, this would still not be enough to warrant the cancellation of his COC because such item or detail is not in any way related to any qualification for the position of Senator,” it added.

As for the period of residency and the pendency of criminal complaints against the respondent as grounds for cancellation of COC, the petitioner failed to substantiate her allegations that Tulfo lied when he said that his period of residence in the Philippines which is 62 years and two months.

The poll body also said the petitioner failed to prove that Tulfo has existing criminal complaints.

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