SC ruling favors Abayon as elected Congressman of N. Samar

Catarman, Northern Samar - The Supreme Court (SC) affirmed Harlin Abayon (NP) as the duly elected Congressman of Northern Samar’s First District in a special session conducted the other day barely a week before the 9 May 2016 elections. 

Contending parties: Cong. Harlim Abayong (NP) and Cong. Raul Daza (LP)

The SC decision overturned the decision of House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal (HRET) declaring Raul Daza (LP) as the winner of the 2013 congressional race in the 1st District of the province. 

SC Public Information Office (PIO) said that during the special session, the SC en banc tackled the case of G.R. No. 223032 also called as “Congressman Harlin C. Abayon vs. HRET and Raul Daza. 

“Wherefore, the Feb. 3, 2016 decision and the March 7, 2016 resolution of the House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal are reversed and set aside. 

Petitioner Abayon is declared to be the lawfully elected representative of the First Legislative District of Northern Samar during May 13, 2013 elections,” the SC proclaimed. 

Senior Associate Justice Jose Mendoza wrote the ruling. Associate Justices Diosdado Peralta, Lucas Bersamin and Presbitero Velasco Jr. did not participate in the hearing as HRET members. Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio also abstained from the deliberation. 

While the SC agreed with HRET that it has inherent capacity to dissolve elections conducted in a particular area or in a specific presents but the latter failed to convince the former in its finding that there was terrorism of such magnitude and gravity as purported. 

Daza, in his petition before the HRET, claimed that "terroristic acts took place resulting to the disenfranchisement of voters and the failure of elections.” 

Daza, a Liberal Party stalwart will face-off again with Abayon this election.
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