Moreover protestant Alvez was not without legal recourse to move for the early

Moreover protestant alvez was not without legal

This preview shows page 96 - 98 out of 98 pages.

political maneuvering on his part to prolong his stay in office. Moreover, protestant Alvez, was not without legal recourse to move for the early resolution of the election protest while it was pending before the regional trial court or to file a motion for the execution of the regional trial court's decision declaring the position of mayor vacant and ordering the vice-mayor to assume office while the appeal was pending with the COMELEC. Such delay which is not here shown to have intentionally sought by the petitioner to prolong his stay in office cannot serve as basis to bar his right to be elected and to serve his chosen local government post in the succeeding mayoral election. The petitioner's contention that the COMELEC ceased to have jurisdiction over the petition for disqualification after he was proclaimed winner is without merit. The instant petition for disqualification was filed on April 21, 1998 or before the May 1998 elections and was resolved on May 21, 1998 or after the petitioner's proclamation. It was held in the case of Sunga vs . COMELEC and Trinidad 7 that the proclamation nor the assumption of office of a candidate against whom a petition for disqualification is pending before the COMELEC does not divest the COMELEC of jurisdiction to continue hearing the case and to resolve it on the merits. Sec. 6 of RA 6646 specifically mandates that: 96
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Sec. 6. Effects of disqualification Case . — any candidate who has been declared by final judgment to be disqualified shall not be voted for, and the votes cast for him shall not be counted. If for any reason a candidate is not declared by final judgment before an election to be disqualified and he is voted for and receives the winning number of votes in such election, the court or commission shall continue with the trial and hearing of the action, inquiry or protest and, upon motion of the complainant or any intervenor, may during the pendency thereof order the suspension of the proclamation of such candidate whenever the evidence of his guilt is strong. This court held that the clear legislative intent is that the COMELEC should continue the trial and hearing of the disqualification case to its conclusion i . e . , until judgment is rendered. The outright dismissal of the petition for disqualification filed before the election but which remained unresolved after the proclamation of the candidate sought to be disqualified will unduly reward the said candidate and may encourage him to employ delaying tactics to impede the resolution of the petition until after he has been proclaimed. The court stated: Clearly, the legislative intent is that the COMELEC should continue the trial and hearing of the disqualification case to its conclusion i . e ., until judgment is rendered thereon. The word "shall" signified that this requirement of the law is mandatory, operating to impose a positive duty which must be enforced. The implication is that the COMELEC is left with no discretion but to proceed with the disqualification case even after the election. Thus, in providing for the outright dismissal of the
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