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LEGAZPI, Albay – Former Ako Bicol congressman Alfredo Garbin urged his supporters not to lose hope, after the Supreme Court prevented a disqualification order issued by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) against his rival, Mayor Geraldine Rosal.
Garbin, who ranked second in the 2022 Legazpi mayoral race, was supposed to take over city hall after the Commission on Elections en banc upheld the Comelec 2nd Division’s October 2022 decision disqualifying the winner, Rosal, on the grounds of vote-buying.
Garbin said that the High Court’s status quo ante order released on Thursday, May 11, “is not yet a decision of the entire Supreme Court.”
“When June 13 comes, the entire Supreme Court will resume and we will know if the Status Quo Ante Order will continue or if it will be dismissed by the SC en banc. What is clear is that we won the fight in the Comelec,” he said.
“To all my supporters and Team APG, don’t give up to trust in God and to trust in the process. We will continue to work for all Legazpeños,” he added.
Following the SC order on Thursday, supporters of Rosal turned their prayer rally into a celebration. Among the revelers was Garbin’s cousin, Tisha Arezapa, who said she was not a Rosal supporter but someone who favored “truth and justice.”
Arezapa said that if Rosal would be ultimately disqualified, she should be succeeded by Vice Mayor Bobby Cristobal.
Barangay Tanod Gloria Baynado expressed hope that disqualified Albay governor Noel Rosal would have a similar fate as his wife.
“I do hope that the Supreme Court will also bring back our governor Noel to his post like his wife,” she said.
The unseated governor told their supporters on Thursday that the SC’s status quo ante order was “an answered prayer for all of us.”
“I salute you all, once again the battle is not yet over. We need to continue praying, for our peace, not only here in Legazpi, including our province in Albay,” he said. – Rappler.com