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MANILA, Philippines – The Commission on Elections junked the appeal filed by Albay Governor Noel Rosal seeking to overturn the Comelec’s ruling that disqualified him from the 2022 provincial race he had already won for violating the election spending ban.
The Comelec en banc, in a decision promulgated on Friday, November 18, said it found “no cogent reason to reverse the findings” of the Comelec’s 1st Division back in September.
“The instant motion for reconsideration neither contains any new matters or issues, nor was it able to establish that the assailed resolution was based on insufficient evidence, or that the same is contrary to law,” the ruling read.
The poll body held Rosal accountable for approving, in his capacity as Legazpi City mayor, cash assistance for tricycle drivers and senior citizens in March and April.
The commission said Rosal violated Section 261 (v) of the Omnibus Election Code, when he disbursed public funds within 45 days before a regular election without seeking exemptions from the poll body.
Rosal had previously argued that the cash assistance was just a continuation of a program that started in 2021.
Not all hope is lost for Rosal, however, as he can still run to the Supreme Court, in one last attempt to reverse the poll body’s decision.
The embattled politician unseated then-incumbent governor Al Francis Bichara back in May, with a margin of over 200,000 votes in the polls.
Rosal’s wife – Legazpi City Mayor Carmen Geraldine Rosal – was also disqualified by the poll body in October for committing an election offense in connection with the illegal release of public funds during the campaign period. – Rappler.com