MS 30th Anniversary XXX

Demolition job versus the Remullas

If you look at the bigger picture, the successful legal maneuvers of administration ally Emmanuel Maliksi to continue holding on as mayor of Imus City in Cavite despite the count of the PCOS machines showing his rival  Homer Saquilayan as the real mayor is part of the demolition job that the Aquino administration is doing against the Remulla family. For some reason, it appears that President Benigno Aquino III holds a grudge against the Remullas who seem to have regained their pre-eminence in Cavite politics that they enjoyed when patriarch Juanito Remulla was governor of Cavite. In fact the scuttlebutt going around is that there are marching orders coming from Malacanang that everything that can be done should be done to make sure that all the Remullas running for election in Cavite lose. The rumor appears credible. It seems that President Aquino has taken a special interest in Cavite and he has visited the province so many times to endorse the Liberal Party candidates in the province. Apparently, Cavite is the most-visited province by Mr. Aquino in this election campaign. If the “make sure all Remullas lose” order is true, the principal target of the campaign would be incumbent Cavite Governor Jonvic Remulla under whose leadership Cavite has been recognized as one of the top performing provinces by the Department of Interior and Local Government. Remulla is running against former Gov. Ayong Maliksi, one of the closest allies of Pres. Aquino. Other Remullas who are running for key posts in Cavite is outgoing Deputy Speaker Boying Remulla who is contesting the mayoralty of Tagaytay City against dentist Agnes Tolentino, the wife of outgoing Tagaytay Mayor Bambol Tolentino who is the brother of MMDA chair Francis Tolentino, who himself was former mayor of Tagaytay. Boying Remulla is perhaps the most serious challenger to the more-than-four-decade stranglehold of the Tolentinos of Tagaytay City. Former Rep. Gilbert Remulla is running as representative of the 7th district of Cavite and his opponent is outgoing Tagaytay City Mayor Bambol Tolentino. Why the grudge of Pres. Aquino against the Remullas? If indeed there is a grudge, some say it must have something to do with the 2010 presidential elections where the Remullas went all out in support of the presidential bid of Senator Manny Villar against President Aquino. But the Liberal Party and Villar’s Nacionalista Party have already kissed and made up.  In fact, ex-Rep. Cynthia Villar is running under the LP coalition ticket. Also, Malacanang spokesmen have said that the harsh words on various issues exchanged between the different candidates were just “campaign rhetoric” and are irrelevant now. But apparently this political reconciliation does not apply to the Remullas. Going back to the issue of the Imus City 2010 mayoralty election, the LP spared no effort to make sure that even if the popular vote was not in favor of the young Maliksi, he would continue to sit as mayor. Allowing the popular vote winner, Homer Saquilayan, to sit as mayor of Imus City would be a big blow against the bid of former Governor Maliksi to return to his former post. Imus is the hometown of ex-Governor Maliksi and the ouster of his son with a Remulla ally sitting as mayor would be a big political issue. But even if Maliksi’s son had been successful in remaining as mayor because of the Supreme Court flip-flop—which reversed what was supposed to be the High Tribunal’s final and executory decision favoring the Commission on Elections which proclaimed Saquilayan as the real mayor of Imus based on the count of the images of ballots cast and stored in the PCOS machines—it would still be a difficult situation. If Saquilayan were not a Remulla ally, he would have already been installed as Imus City Mayor. In fact, based on the results of the automated election, Saquilayan was the runaway winner with 48,251 votes versus the 40,092 votes of Maliksi. However, Maliksi protested the results of the elections and the Imus RTC ordered a recount of the actual ballots and the setting aside of the automated count. That RTC ordered count erased the 8,429 lead of Saquilayan. Saquilayan appealed the RTC decision to the Comelec as prescribed by election laws and after a long process where Comelec counted the votes based on the stored images in the PCOS, the Comelec said Saquilayan was the real winner. Maliksi went to the Supreme Court where he obtained a TRO but after several months the SC en banc affirmed the Comelec decision declaring Saquilayan as the real mayor. In a surprise turn of events, the SC reversed what was supposed to be a final and executory decision.  The Comelec was ordered to do a recount. Would this have happened if Saquilayan was an ally of Malacanang?
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