Comelec

Congressman Erwin Tulfo? Not yet as Comelec halts proclamation over DQ case

Dwight de Leon
Congressman Erwin Tulfo? Not yet as Comelec halts proclamation over DQ case

CONGRESSIONAL ASPIRATIONS. DSWD Secretary Erwin Tulfo speaks at a media forum in Manila on November 23, 2022. Rappler

Rappler

A disqualification case against Erwin Tulfo prompts the Comelec to suspend his proclamation as party-list representative. The poll body says it has the power to do so 'if evidence is strong and remains unresolved.'

MANILA, Philippines – The Commission on Elections (Comelec) said on Wednesday, March 1, that it has suspended the proclamation of broadcaster Erwin Tulfo as the new nominee of popular party-list group ACT-CIS, delaying the former social welfare chief’s entry to Congress.

The Comelec, in a press release, said the move was due to a petition filed by lawyer Moises Tolentino on Tuesday, February 28, which seeks to disqualify Tulfo on allegations pertaining to “question of citizenship” and “conviction by final judgment of a crime involving moral turpitude.” Rappler has yet to get a copy of the petition.

“Under Section 8 of Rule 5 of Resolution No. 9366, the proclamation of nominee may be suspended notwithstanding the fact that the group or organization received the winning number of votes in such elections, if the evidence in the petition for disqualification is strong and such remains unresolved,” said Comelec spokesman Rex Laudiangco.

Rappler previously learned that Tulfo was seeking a seat inthe House of Representatives as a replacement of a resigned ACT-CIS representative Jeffrey Soriano.

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Soriano’s exit in the lower chamber meant there was a vacant seat which Tulfo could fill through a controversial post-election substitution method.

ACT-CIS was the topnotcher in the 2019 and 2022 party-list races, and Tulfo was the face of ACT-CIS in its election campaign advertisements.

The controversies raised in Tolentino’s petition were the same issues that derailed Tulfo’s confirmation bid to become the secretary of the Department of Social Welfare and Development.

Tulfo, who was selected by President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. to lead the DSWD in May 2022, left the agency in December the same year after he was twice bypassed by the CA over his US citizenship and a libel conviction that was upheld by the Supreme Court in 2008.

Under the election code, any person who has been sentenced to a penalty of over 18 months or for a crime involving moral turpitude shall be disqualified from holding public office. – Rappler.com

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Dwight de Leon

Dwight de Leon is a multimedia reporter who covers the House of Representatives and the Commission on Elections for Rappler. Previously, he wrote stories on local government units.