SC: Ex-Dapitan City mayor Dominador Jalosjos ineligible to run for public office

The Supreme Court has upheld its earlier ruling that former Dapitan City, Zamboanga del Norte mayor Dominador Jalosjos Jr. should not have been allowed to run for public office since his past criminal concviction in the 1970s has rendered him "perpetually" ineligible. In a 21-page ruling, the court voted 9-3-2 to deny a motion by Jalosjos—brother of convicted rapist Romeo Jalosjos—seeking to reverse a February 2011 SC ruling that upheld two Commission on Elections (Comelec) resolutions dated May 10 and August 11, 2010, ordering the cancellation of his certificate of candidacy on the grounds of "false material representation." Jalosjos and three others were convicted on April 30, 1970 for robbery and were sentenced to a maximum of prison mayor (four years, two months and one day) by the Cebu City Regional Trial Court Branch 18. He appealed the case with the Court of Appeals but was denied in 1973. On June 17, 1985, Jalosjos filed a petition for probation, which was granted by the court. Two years later, in 1987, the court granted the petition of Jalosjos' probation officer to revoke his probation. In December 2003, Parole and Probation administrator Gregorio Bacolod issued a certification that Jalosjos had fulfilled the terms and conditions of his probation. The Sandiganbayan later convicted Bacolod for issuing a falsified certification for Jalosjos. "Jalosjos' certificate of candidacy was void from the start since he was not eligible to run for any public office at the time he filed his certificate of candidacy. Jalosjos was never a candidate at any time, and all votes for Jalosjos were stray votes," the court said. The court said Jalosjos committed "false material representation" when he made a false statement in his certificate of candidacy that he was eligible to run for public office. The court said the prison mayor penalty handed down on Jalosjos was grounds for his disqualification to run for public office under Section 40 of the Local Government Code and under Section 12 of the Omnibus Election Code. "The penalty of prison mayor automatically carries with it, by operation of law, the accessory penalties of temporary absolute disqualification and perpetual special disqualification," the court said. The court said Jalosjos should have been disqualified from running for public office "immediately once the judgment of conviction becomes final." The court also ruled that Agapito Cardino, Jalosjos' rival in the 2010 mayoral race, should be considered to have run that year unopposed. The court directed the Comelec to form a Special City Board of Canvassers that would proclaim Cardino as the duly elected mayor of Dapitan City. "Despite a prior perpetual special disqualification, Jalosjos was elected and served twice as mayor. The Comelec will be grossly remiss in its constitutional duty to 'enforce and administer all laws' relating to the conduct of elections if it does not motu proprio bar from running for publuc office those suffering from perpetual special disqualification by virtue of final judgment," the court said. The Court stressed that "perpetual special disqualification means that ‘the offender shall not be permitted to hold any office during the period of his disqualification,’ which is perpetually.” — BM, GMA News