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Marinduque bet never a candidate — COMELEC

The controversy over a disqualified candidate in Marinduque’s one congressional district refused to die down. This surfaced on Saturday after Congressman Lord Allan Jay Q. Velasco of Marinduque disputed the claim of former congressman Edmund Reyes that his sister, candidate Regina O. Reyes was proclaimed winner in the island province. Velasco said that as of Friday (May 17, the Provincial Board of Canvass had not officially proclaimed candidate Reyes. The PBOC has not yet issued a Certificate of Canvass and Proclamation of Winning Candidates (Form No. 28) duly signed and affixed with the imprint of the thumb of the right hand of each member supported by the Statement of Votes by Precint (SVOP) (Form No. 28-A) pursuant to Section 231 of the Omnibus Election Code, Velasco said. Velasco claimed it would be impossible for candidate Reyes to be “proclaimed” last May 16, 2013 since the canvassing of votes in the towns of Buenavista, Gasan and Torrijos have not yet been completed and the results transmitted to the PBOC. “Reyes can no longer be proclaimed as the PBOC already received the May 14, 2013 Resolution of the COMELEC En Banc denying with Finality her Motion for Reconsideration of the March 17, 2013 Resolution of the First Division cancelling her Certificate of Candidacy on the ground that she remained as a U.S. citizen since she did not reacquire Philippine Citizenship under Republic Act No. 9225. “Thus, Reyes is not eligible as a candidate for the position of member of the House of the Representatives under Section 6, Article VI of the Constitution since she is no longer a natural born Filipino citizen,” Velasco said in a statement. Based on  a Supreme Court ruling, a candidate whose certificate of candidacy is cancelled is “never a candidate”  and the votes cast for him or her are considered stray votes. His supporters said that since Velasco remained as the sole qualified candidate and obtained the highest number of votes, he should be proclaimed as the duly elected winner. His allies invoked  Comelec Resolution No. 9648 which said that “in case the certificate of candidacy of the candidate who obtains the highest number of votes has been cancelled or denied due course by a final and executory Decision or Resolution, the votes cast for such candidate shall be considered stray, hence, the Board shall proceed to proclaim the candidate who obtains the second highest of number votes.”
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