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Political Turmoil In Paradise: The Gubernatorial Battle in Palawan

May 31, 2010

Aborlan, Palawan

Here’s a puzzler that shouldn’t be hard for the Supreme Court under new Chief Justice Renato Corona to clear up.

Outgoing congressman Abraham Mitra’s proclamation as winning candidate in gubernatorial race is being questioned before the high court on the basis of the unassailed fact that while he is listed as living in a farm in Puerto Princesa City there is actually no residential structure there!!!

Here are the facts from Palaweños themselves:

San Vicente, Palawan Mayor Antonio V. Gonzales and Palawan resident Orlando R. Balbon, Jr.

No other person claims residence at the Maligaya Feedmill and Farm. Not even the owner of the Feedmill, his family, or the workers reside therein because there is no residential portion within the premises of the [farm].

Partidong Pagbabago ng Palawan:

We cannot allow Mitra to continue insulting the Palaweños and the general public with his half-truths.

The only clear intention that we see now is the intent to bend the law to suit political convenience.

There has been no denial of the fact Mitra had his voting records transferred to Aborlan town from Puerto Princesa City in a brazen stunt to contest the governorship backhandedly.

Quite clearly, residents from the capital which is a chartered city cannot vote for provincial officials after Palawan was declared a highly urbanized city on March 26, 2007.

There is also standing jurisprudence dating back to 2007:

The Supreme Court ruling then nullified the proclamation of a mayor who won election in 2007 and who had been earlier disqualified by the Comelec.

The high court had unanimously held that a winning candidate’s “disqualification must stand because the rule of law, as framed by Congress representing the national will, must prevail over the will of the people in a given locality.

Ahead of the May 10 elections, the Comelec had actually disqualified Mitra as a gubernatorial candidate after he failed to support his claim that he was now a resident of Aborlan town.

But Mr. Mitra secured a status quo ante order from the high court days before the May 10 elections.

It is now time for this matter to be corrected.

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