SC: Saquilayan, not Maliksi, is Imus mayor
MANILA, Philippines - In a tight vote, the Supreme Court affirmed on Tuesday, March 12, a ruling by the Commission on Elections dislodging Emmanuel Maliksi as mayor of Imus, Cavite and declaring Homer Saquilayan as the rightful winner in the 2010 mayoral elections.
The SC, voting 8-7, upheld the decision the poll body issued on August 15, 2012 that nullified a ruling of a Cavite regional court favoring Maliksi.
In the decision, the Comelec first division, chaired by then Comelec Commissioner Rene Sarmiento, said Saquilayan was the rightful winner after a recount that showed he defeated Maliksi by 8,429 votes.
Maliksi got 40,092 votes while Saquilayan got 48,521 votes.
The SC also lifted a temporary restraining order issued by Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno in October 2012 which stopped Comelec from enforcing its ruling unseating Maliksi.
"The TRO is lifted. The decision is immediately executory considering that there are only less than 5 months left in Saquilayan's term of office," the SC said in a decision penned by Justice Antonio Carpio.
Aquino appointed Sereno to the Court in 2010 and named her chief justice in 2012. Aquino and Maliksi are both members of the ruling Liberal Party.
Sereno, however, voted with the majority this time around.
Concurring with the ponencia or decision were Justices Mariano del Castillo, Roberto Abad, Martin Villarama, Jose Perez, Estela Perlas-Bernabe and Marvic Leonen.
Dissenting were Justices Lucas Bersamin, Presbitero Velasco, Arturo Brion, Diosdado Peralta, Jose Mendoza and Bienvenido Reyes.
Saquilayan and Maliksi will face off in the 2013 midterm elections again, however - Saquilayan is running under Nacionalista Party, Maliksi under LP. Maliksi's father, Ayong is seeking the gubernatorial post in Cavite.- Rappler.com