Comelec urged to resolve disqualification bid vs Cayetano couple

ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 01 2019 08:13 AM

Former Foreign Affairs Chief Alan Peter Cayetano and his wife, Taguig City Mayor Lani Cayetano. ABS-CBN News

MANILA - The Commission on Elections on Tuesday was urged to resolve a petition challenging the congressional run of former Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano and his wife over their separate residences, as the campaign entered the homestretch. 

Alan is running in the first congressional district of Taguig, while his wife, incumbent Mayor Lani Cayetano, is seeking a House seat for the second district.

A petition filed November last year asked Comelec to reject the Cayetanos’ certificates of candidacy, arguing that “a married couple can only maintain one legal residence at any given time.” 

Under Comelec's own Rules of Procedure, the poll body supposedly has only 5 days to resolve the case after it was submitted for resolution, petitioner Leonides Buac Jr. argued in a joint motion for immediate resolution. 

Allowing the Cayetano couple to run "can set landmark precedents" and "would effectively be a license for married couples to split residences and run in two different jurisdictions," read the plea. 

"With that interpretation, spouses can now claim domicile separate from their matrimonial domicile just for convenience or for the purpose of qualifying for an elective post," it said. 

"If such a set-up is sanctioned, it would now be legally feasible for the wife to run in Davao City in Mindanao while the other spouse would seek elective office in Cagayan Valley in Northern Luzon," it added. 

The motion urged the Comelec to resolve the case "immediately and with utmost dispatch," disqualify the Cayetanos from the race and consider the votes cast for them as "stray or invalid." 

The Cayetano couple earlier said the disqualification case against them was "irrelevant to our constituents' desire." 

Aside from the couple, Cayetano's brother Lino is running for city mayor. Their older sister, incumbent Taguig Rep. Pia Cayetano, is eyeing a return to the Senate.