Comelec upholds disqualification of Aurora vice governor

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 7) — The Commission on Elections (Comelec) stood by its First Division’s order disqualifying Gerardo Noveras in the vice gubernatorial race of Aurora province in May 2022.

In a decision released to media on Thursday, the poll body moved to unseat Noveras from the position he won last year, denying the latter’s motion for reconsideration.

“Wherefore, premises considered, the Commission (First Division) hereby resolves to grant the instant petition. Respondent Gerardo ‘Jerry’ A. Noveras is disqualified,” the ruling read.

In July, the Comelec First Division disqualified Noveras for using government resources to advance his political campaign last year.

This came as Narciso Amansec, the embattled official’s rival in the race, filed a petition in April 2022 after witnessing “the actual printing of the tarpaulin and campaign materials of the respondent.”

The printing of the campaign materials was being manned by Michael Tecuico, a casual plantilla employee, at the ATC Compound, which is a provincial government-owned complex.

“These factors have a common denominator -- Respondent, as the then incumbent governor and Chief Executive Officer of the Province of Aurora, had direct authority over both the person of a provincial government casual worker and the provincial property,” the decision stated.

“This is not a mere coincidence but a strong indication that respondent had coerced and induced Mr. Tecuico in performing the acts complained of… Even the indirect act would render him liable,” it added.

Comelec stressed that “coercion is evident” as the involved worker “could not have performed the act complained of without any orders or authorization from Respondent.”