The Commission on Elections Second Division has denied for lack of merit the petition of a Toboso resident to declare mayoralty candidate Evello Muñez Valencia Jr. “ineligible for the position and to cancel his Certificate of Candidacy”.
In an 8-page resolution dated May 10, 2019 signed by Presiding Commissioner Luie Tito F. Guia, the Comelec division stated:
“All told, We deny the petition to deny due course to or cancel the Certificate of Candidacy (of Valencia for Toboso mayor) under Section 78 because Respondent did not commit material misrepresentation when he claimed under oath that he is a Filipino citizen and that he is qualified to run for public office … the instant Petition is hereby Denied for Lack of Merit.”
The resolution was also signed by Commissioners Socorro B. Inting and Antonio T. Kho Jr.
Toboso resident Ryan Bedonia, in his petition alleged that Valencia is a US citizen “but stated in his CoC (for mayor of Toboso in the recent May polls) that he is a Filipino citizen…”
Bedonia also alleged that after assumption of his first term as mayor of Toboso on June 30, 2004 Valencia travelled abroad twice using a US passport.
As vice mayor of Toboso, Valencia continued to use his US passport to travel abroad on several occasions, Bedonia added, including he said when Valencia’s term ended as vice mayor.
Valencia filed his CoC for mayor on October 16, 2018, and on October 24, 2018 Bedonia filed his petition.
Valencia lost to incumbent Mayor Richard Jaojoco.
Santiago Maravillas is the lawyer of Bedonia, while Ariel Malunes is Valencia’s legal counsel.* (Arman P. Toga, NDB)