Bicol gov stripped of candidacy certificate

By Danny Estacio

LUCENA CITY - The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has canceled the Certificate of Candidacy (COC) of Camarines Norte Governor Edgardo Tallado, who is seeking re-election.

The Comelec’s First Division acted on the petition of Norberto Villamin and Senandro Jalgalado to cancel Tallado's COC on the ground that he would be running for a fourth term in May.

Comelec released the order last March 29.

The Comelec ruled "that the pendency of Tallado's Petition for Review before the Court of Appeals on his suspension order meted by the Ombudsman meant that he did not vacate and Tallado was not succeeded by his vice-governor at that time. If it was truly vacant, such permanent vacancy should have triggered the operation of Sec. 44 of LGC (Local Government Code) which governs succession in cases involving permanent vacancies in elective offices."

It said "no succession ever took place… Clearly, the respondent's suspension is not to be considered an involuntary interruption of respondent's continuity of service.”

Tallado was suspended by the Ombudsman in 2015 and dismissed from office in March 2018. He was also disqualified from holding public office.

Both decisions stemmed from a complaint by former Provincial Veterinarian Edgardo Gonzales for grave abuse of authority and grave misconduct. Gonzales said he was relieved as provincial veterinarian and assigned as Public Information Officer. where he did not have any function or staff.

In a phone interview, Tallado said he has filed a Motion for Reconsideration before the Comelec En Banc last Tuesday.

"This is just the first quarter, kumbaga sa basketball. Meron pang en banc, Court of Appeals at Supreme Court. Mahalaga ay manalo muna ako," Tallado said.