By Cesar T. Bilowan
Regional Trial Court Judge Cesar A. Mangrobang of RTC Branch 22 here has declared Emmanuel L. Maliksi as the duly-elected mayor of this town following the completion of the recount of the ballots in the disputed results of the May 10, 201 automated elections.
Judge Mangrobang, in a 269-page decision, annulled and set aside the election and proclamation of Homer T. Saquilayan as municipal mayor and ordered the town chief executive to immediately cease and desist from performing office duties and functions.
The RTC judge’s decision was released last Tuesday, November 15 to the counsels of both parties but made public only on Thursday, November 17.
Mangrobang’s decision showed that Maliksi’s winning margin over Saquilayan totaled 665 votes.
However, Lawyer Romeo A. Francisco, legal consultant of the office of the deposed mayor, said that Saquilayan will appeal the court decision.
Francisco revealed the mayor’s office “has already filed a notice of appeal following the decision.”
It was learned this was the first time that a court rendered a decision in favor of a losing candidate following the country’s first automated national and local elections in 2010.
Earlier, the Catholic Church and the police have appealed for calm and sobriety with the development on the electoral protest filed by Maliksi.
Tension gripped Cavite’s historical town after the court released its decision on the election protest.