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MANILA, Philippines – The petitioner in the case that seeks to block broadcaster Erwin Tulfo’s bid to become a congressman for ACT-CIS appealed to the Comelec to reverse its decision to junk the case.
Lawyer Moises Tolentino Jr. filed a motion for reconsideration (MR) on Monday, May 29, in response to the Comelec 2nd Division ruling promulgated on Thursday, May 25.
Tolentino argued that the Comelec’s main reason for junking the case – that the poll body had no jurisdiction over the case – is “patently contrary to law and jurisprudence.”
The Comelec had pointed out that Tolentino filed the case out of time because it came nine months after ACT-CIS was proclaimed winner in the 2022 elections.
“If we go by this argument, there will be no need for individual nominees to be proclaimed as party-list representative. Likewise, the issuance of individual certificate of proclamation would be unnecessary. Yet, this is a procedure the Comelec has been doing,” the MR read.
Tulfo was the original fourth nominee of ACT-CIS. When the group emerged as topnotcher of the 2022 party-list race, its original three nominees obtained proclamation papers and assumed their posts in the 19th Congress.
Tolentino reiterated that Tulfo should be barred from being a substitute nominee of ACT-CIS because “while respondent was born a Filipino, he had lost his Philippine citizenship along the way, and he had not yet regained it when he ran under the banner of ACT-CIS as the fourth party-list representative nominee.”
He also insisted that Tulfo committed a crime of moral turpitude – a ground for disqualification under the election code – when the Supreme Court convicted him of libel.
The issues of citizenship and court conviction are what cost Tulfo his post as social welfare secretary.
Tulfo served as the first social welfare secretary of the Marcos administration but he had to exit the government agency after the Commission on Appointments (CA) again deferred his confirmation bid over such concerns.
Tulfo previously said he had renounced his US citizenship in early 2022. As per the libel conviction, he explained it was about a story he had written about alleged government corruption.
Despite being bypassed by the CA, Tulfo is still seen as an asset by President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., who said he hoped to keep the broadcaster in his administration. – Rappler.com