SC orders recall polls in Puerto Princesa

recall-petition-election-carousel-20140914A MOVE to unseat Puerto Princesa City Mayor Lucilo Bayron has gained steam after the Supreme Court (SC) allowed the conduct of recall elections there.

Voting 12-0, the SC ruled in favor of former Puerto Princesa information officer Alroben Goh’s petition that accused the Commission on Elections (Comelec) of grave abuse of discretion for suspending the polls due to lack of funds.

The Court said there is no excuse for Comelec not to hold the polls (through Resolutions 9864 and 9882) since it is empowered by the Constitution to do so and tap savings to address funding issues.

Also, the SC cited the line item
appropriation for the conduct of recall elections.

“This is found in the Programs category of its 2014 budget, which the Comelec admits in its Resolution No. 9882 is a ‘line item for the ‘conduct and supervision of election, referenda, recall votes and plebiscites,'” the decision read.

Goh said Bayron must be kicked out of the City Hall due to loss of trust and confidence stemming from Puerto Princesa’s dwindling tourist arrivals and worsening peace and order situation.

Puerto Princesa is the capital of the province of Palawan, a top tourist destination known for its beautiful beaches, exotic wildlife and majestic underground river.

The petition to recall Bayron was signed by 40,409 registered voters in the city, more than twice the required 19,335 signatures (representing 15 percent of all voters) for it to move forward.

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