S. Kudarat guv bet brings DQ case to SC, candidacy to continue

General

The candidacy of Sultan Kudarat gubernatorial candidate Datu Pax Ali Mangudadatu will continue despite the Commission on Elections (Comelec) decision to cancel his certificate of candidacy (COC).

Lawyer Cyrus Torreña, speaking for Datu Pax Ali, said Tuesday the latter’s candidacy will push through while a petition for a temporary restraining order (TRO) before the Supreme Court is pending.

“We were not that surprised by the Comelec en banc decision,” said Torreña, the legal counsel of Datu Pax Ali and concurrent provincial administrator of Maguindanao Governor Bai Mariam Mangudadatu.

“It’s too early to celebrate on their part,” he said of the petitioners, one of whom was Sultan Kudarat gubernatorial aspirant Sharifa Akeel-Mangudadatu.

“Our lawyers have already prepared a draft petition since February 2 for filing before the highest court because we had anticipated this decision,” he said.

Akeel-Mangudadatu, in a statement Tuesday, said the decision that favored her petition was “an Eid’l Fitr gift for me.”

Akeel-Mangudadatu said it was clear that her rival in the gubernatorial race was not a resident of the province, therefore, was disqualified.

The Comelec en banc’s decision Monday upheld a Comelec division resolution canceling the COC of Mangudadatu since he remained as mayor of Datu Abdullah Sangki in neighboring Maguindanao province.

While the camp of Mayor Pax Ali is yet to receive copies of the Comelec resolution, Torreña said they were puzzled why the decision was released on May 2, only three working days before the election.

Torreña said their camp has 15 days to file an appeal, adding their camp will file the petition before the Supreme Court on Wednesday.

Pax Ali Mangudadatu is the mayor of Datu Abdullah Sangki. He is one of the sons of couple Gov. Suharto Mangudadatu of Sultan Kudarat and Gov. Bai Mariam Mangudadatu of Maguindanao.

Akeel-Mangudadatu is the wife of Maguindanao Rep. Esmael Toto Mangudadatu, who is challenging his cousin’s wife, incumbent Gov. Bai Mariam Mangudadatu, for Maguindanao governor.

Source: Philippines News Agency

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