ArchivesJune 2010Declare me Governor, Baldado asks Comelec

Declare me Governor, Baldado asks Comelec

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He said one thing and did another. {{more}}

Two days after the death of newly re-elected Negros Oriental Governor Emilio Macias II and his ascension to the governorship to serve Macias’ unexpired term, Acting Governor Jose Baldado decided to pursue his petition to void the late governor’s candidacy in the May 10 elections on grounds that Macias deliberately and persistently lied about his health. {{more}}

Assisted by lawyer Vicente S. dela Plaza II, Baldado, the outgoing vice governor whom Macias beat for the province’s governorship on May 10, filed a memorandum with the Commission on Elections on June 15 asking it to recall Macias’ proclamation and to declare him the winner of the gubernatorial race.

Baldado signed the petition one day after he called on the public to stop speculating about who would succeed Macias on June 30, “while the province is in mourning.”

A copy of the petition reached the Metropost on June 17.

Baldado, in a telephone interview with the Inquirer on June 14, said the funeral of the late governor was of paramount importance and branded talk of the governor’s replacement “too premature.”

Macias died on June 13 from complications arising from liver cancer at the National Kidney and Transplant Institute in Quezon City. His cremated remains are to be laid to rest at noon Sunday beside his parents’ graves in Siaton town, some 50 kilometers south of here.

Lawyers here are divided on whether the vacancy in the governorship caused by Macias’ death should be filled by Vice Governor-elect Agustin Perdices or through a special election.

The memorandum of Baldado was made as a rejoinder to a memorandum filed by Macias in response to Baldado’s original complaint last May 13 seeking to have Macias disqualified from the race on account of his failing health.

Baldado, in his original memorandum, said the electorate was defrauded into casting their vote for Macias, who “deliberately and persistently concealed and misrepresented a material fact that would have altered the results of an
election had such material concealment andmisrepresentation not been resorted to.”

Prior to the elections, Macias was already physically incapacitated, terminally ill and unable to perform the functions of the office for which he was a candidate, Baldado said.

“Had [Macias] only disclosed his true state of health to the voting public, the results would have been very much different because only a few would be willing to gamble and cast their vote in favor of a man who might not be able to assume the office he filed a certificate of candidacy for, or if he is able to so assume, might not be able to serve till the term ends,” Baldado said.

Baldado said the result of the elections, which had him trailing Macias by 26,581 votes, was a “virtual statistical tie” considering that the province has a voter population of more than 700,000.

The Comelec has not indicated when it will rule on the matter. Meanwhile, Perdices has said he will assume the governorship on June 30.

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