Sereno issues stay order on Comelec ruling unseating Maliksi

Posted on October 13, 2012

CHIEF JUSTICE Maria Lourdes P.A. Sereno has used her power to issue an indefinite stay order against the implementation of a Commission on Elections (Comelec) resolution unseating Imus Mayor Emmanuel L. Maliksi.

"[A] Temporary Restraining Oder is hereby issued, effective immediately and continuing until further orders from this Court, ordering you, respondent Comelec, your agents, representatives, or persons acting in your place or stead, to refrain from further proceeding with or implementing the assailed Comelec Resolution dated Sept. 14, 2012," read the two-page resolution dated Oct. 11 but released to the media on Friday.

The stay order was issued through the "authority of the...Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the Philippines," it added.

Head magistrates are given power to issue their own stay order, but the high court must confirm this in its next en banc meeting.

The resolution stated that a stay order was necessary to "maintain the status quo prevailing before the issuance of the assailed Comelec resolution."

The issue stemmed from election protests made by Mr. Maliksi, which unseated then Imus Mayor Homer T. Saquilayan.

In the last May 2010 elections, the Comelec had declared Mr. Saquilayan as the duly-elected mayor of Imus after he won by 8,499 votes against the incumbent Mr. Maliksi.

The result was questioned by Mr. Maliksi before the courts, which in 2011 declared him the winner by 655 votes, prompting Mr. Saquilayan to file the a protest before the Comelec.

The Comelec allowed Mr. Maliksi to stay in office while investigating the case. But the poll body’s first division in Aug. 15 ruled in favor of Mr. Saquilayan, a decision affirmed by Comelec en banc on Sept. 14.

Mr. Maliki, however, sought for a stay order before the high court on Oct. 2. -- ASOA