MANILA, Philippines – Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno on October 12, Friday, issued a temporary restraining order (TRO) stopping the Commission on Elections (Comelec) from removing Imus Mayor Emmanuel “Manny” Maliksi from his post.
Granting a petition filed by Maliksi, Sereno used her sole power to issue a TRO against the enforcement of an August 15 decision of the Comelec first division that declared Maliksi’s rival, Homer Saquilayan, the winner of the 2010 polls in Imus, Cavite.
Maliksi is an ally of President Benigno Aquino III in the Liberal Party.
“The Court finds it necessary and proper to issue a temporary restraining order to maintain status quo prevailing before the issuance of the assailed Comelec Resolution,” Sereno said in her resolution.
Under Rule 58, Section 5 of the rules of Court, “if the matter is of extreme urgency and the applicant will suffer grave injustice and irreparable injury, the executive judge of a multiple-sala court or the presiding judge of a single-sala court may issue ex parte a temporary restraining order.”
This is the first time that Sereno exercised this authority.
Aquino appointed Sereno as associate justice in 2010 and named her chief justice last August 24.
The August 15 Comelec decision nullified a Cavite regional trial court ruling that installed Maliksi to the post after he filed an election protest.
In the said decision, the Comelec first division, chaired by Comelec Commissioner Rene Sarmiento, said Saquilayan was the rightful winner after a recount that showed he defeated Maliksi by 8,429 votes.
“After counting and appreciation of the appealed clustered precincts by this Commission, protestant appellee Maliksi got 40,092 votes while protestee-appellant Saquilayan got 48,521 or a difference of 8,429 votes,” the Comelec said. – Rappler.com