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Dumaguete City, PhilippinesTuesday, December 22, 2009
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Comelec set to hear
disqualification raps

The Commission on Elections in Negros Oriental is expected to serve today subpoenas and notices for hearing of the disqualification cases filed against two congressional candidates in the province.

Acting Provincial Election Supervisor Eddie Aba said he expects to receive copies today of the documents from the Comelec regional office to be served to respondents, incumbent Rep. Jocelyn Limkaichong of the 1st district, and independent candidate Raul Aniñon, who is contesting the 2nd congressional district seat in the May 2010 polls.

This was after Comelec Region 7 Director Rey Rene Boac informed Aba 's office yesterday afternoon about this development.

These will be the first two disqualification cases filed in Negros Oriental in relation to next year's polls to be heard by the Comelec en banc in Manila , Aba said.

The grounds for the disqualification proceedings filed against the respondents are also not known as, under a new law, it is now the Comelec central office that will handle such cases, Aba said.

A source, who requested anonymity as he is not authorized to speak publicly, said that re-electionist Rep. George Arnaiz of the 2nd district had filed the disqualification case against Raul Aniñon to have him allegedly declared a nuisance candidate.

The source further said that the hearing of Arnaiz's petition has been scheduled this week before the Christmas break but Aba said he is not privy to this.

Aba also said he does not have any idea who filed the petition for disqualification against Limkaichong, and on what grounds.

In previous elections, provincial Comelec offices received the evidence, and forward the petition, the respondent's answer and evidence, to their central office.

However, under the new ruling, petitioners are required to file their disqualification cases directly with the Comelec in Manila .

Arnaiz, Limkaichong and Aniñon could not be contacted for comment up to press time.*JFP




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