BY JESSICA M. BACUD
TUGUEGARAO CITY, Cagayan — Governor Manuel N. Mamba stressed it was “an injustice to the Cagayano voters” with the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) second division granting a petition for his disqualification for the position of Governor in the Province of Cagayan in the May 2022 Election.
In its ruling, the poll body said Mamba committed an election offense under Section 261 (v) of the Omnibus Election Code (OEC) and Resolution No. 10747.
However, Mamba said, “I did not buy a single vote to win. I have exceptions from COMELEC for the funds spent during the election ban.”
Gov. Mamba emphasized that he did not violate any provision of the election law since the COMELEC en banc has approved his application for an exemption to undertake in the programs, projects activities that includes the ‘continuing programs’ of the provincial government during the election period.
Meanwhile, Governor Mamba urges the Cagayano populace to stay calm but still be vigilant and observant for justice and truth to prevail.
Comelec spokesperson John Rex Laudiangco in a statement said Mamba may still appeal the decision of the Division which is composed of Presiding Commissioner Marlon Casquejo and members Rey Bulay and Nelson Celis by filing a Motion for Reconsideration (MR) before the Commission en banc.
“The Respondent may still file a Motion for Reconsideration (MR) which will be elevated to the Commission en banc,” he said in a message to the media, adding that Mamba has five calendar days to file his MR.
Also, in a Press Statement of the COMELEC Information and Education Department, it states that the evidences failed to show that Mamba has violated the Omnibus Election Code (OEC) and for him to be disqualified contrary to the alleged massive vote-buying petition of Ma. Zarah Rose De Guzman Lara whom Mamba has defeated as governor in the May 2022 Election.
Noting that Mamba was a staunch advocate of “No to Vote Buying,” for long years, residents grief over the resolution and could hardly believe of the unjust move. of the COMELEC second division as the allegation was contrary to his practice.