Comelec upholds disqualification of Aurora Vice Governor Jerry Noveras

Dwight de Leon

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Comelec upholds disqualification of Aurora Vice Governor Jerry Noveras

Noveras' photo from his Facebook page

The poll body unseats Aurora Vice Governor Jerry Noveras for using government resources to advance his campaign in 2022

MANILA, Philippines – The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has junked the appeal filed by Aurora Vice Governor Jerry Noveras against the poll body’s disqualification order against him.

The Comelec en banc found Noveras liable for using government resources to advance his campaign in 2022, when he was a term-limited governor seeking to swap seats with his son, who was vice governor at the time.

This is not yet the end of the road for Noveras, who may run to the Supreme Court and seek an order preventing the Comelec from unseating him.

How exactly did the Comelec rule on the case?

In July, the Comelec 1st Division moved to disqualify Noveras for coercing provincial hall casual employee Michael Tecuico into printing Noveras’ campaign paraphernalia.

When the case was elevated to the en banc, the poll body said the ground cited – as per Section 261(d) of the Omnibus Election Code – cannot be used since Republic Act No. 7890 explicitly repealed that provision.

But the Comelec en banc, in its ruling dated Wednesday, September 6, cited another provision in the election code – Section 261(e) – to justify Noveras’ disqualification. It prohibits any person from using a fraudulent device in campaigns.

The poll body said:

  • Noveras committed a fraudulent scheme when Tecuico was assigned to print campaign materials within the Aurora Training Center compound.
  • The fraudulent scheme can be considered coercion because Noveras – as governor – had direct authority over Tecuico and the provincial property.
  • The printing of campaign materials is an evident form of campaigning.

“The material facts of the case and the supporting evidence clearly establish that Respondent’s use of a fraudulent scheme by unlawfully using government resources and premises has enabled him to compel and induce Mr. Tecuico, a provincial casual worker, to print materials for his campaign,” the ruling read.

Five of the seven Comelec en banc members voted in favor of the resolution.

Chairman George Garcia and Commissioner Rey Bulay took “no part,” with Garcia saying he “practiced prudence” because Noveras was a prior acquaintance.

Who filed the petition?

The person who sought Noveras’ disqualification was Narciso Amansec, the only rival of Noveras for the vice gubernatorial seat in 2022.

Noveras garnered 77,378 votes in the 2022 vice gubernatorial race, edging out Amansec, who secured 41,070 votes.

Amansec, a former vice mayor of Dipaculao, Aurora, was killed alongside his wife and driver in an ambush by still unidentified suspects in October 2022.

Jerry’s son, Christian Noveras, succeeded his father as governor after he won in the May 2022 polls. –

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Dwight de Leon

Dwight de Leon is a multimedia reporter who covers President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., the Malacañang, and the Commission on Elections for Rappler.