THE Commission on Elections (Comelec) has postponed the scheduled verification process yesterday for the 30,000 individuals who signed a petition for recall filed by former San Juan Vice Mayor Francis Zamora against the re-election of Mayor Guia Gomez due to lack of funds.
Comelec San Juan election officer Atty. Gregorio Bonifacio on April 20, 2018 signed a memorandum for the verification of signatures and thumb marks of petitioners from April 25 to May 1, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., at the San Juan Knights gym in San Juan Elementary School but there were no available funds for the process.
“A new notice was sent on Tuesday changing the venue to Pinaglabanan Elementary School, however signatories of the petition said the verification will not proceed because there were no available funds. This is very questionable and unfair especially because it was the Comelec itself that denied the MR and set the dates of verification. Why will they say now that there is no budget when in fact they themselves approved of the verification?,” Zamora said in a statement to reporters.
He disclosed that upon checking, there is P98 million in the 2018 General Appropriations Act for the Comelec intended for recall and referenda for the National Capital Region (NCR).
“This proves that there is indeed a budget. No other city in Metro Manila is having a recall, thus the amount is intact. Obviously, this is another delaying tactic to kill the recall proceedings knowing that the deadline for it to happen is only up to May 13, 2018,” Zamora lamented.
He also said they noticed that not a single member of Mayor Gomez camp was there and its obvious that they were already aware that the verification will not push through. “We were only verbally informed of the suspension of the verification this morning and the formal notice was given to us by Atty. Bonifacio at around 10 a.m. already,” he said.
The more delays in the San Juan election recall process only showed that Gomez is scared to face the people of San Juan again in a recall election, Zamora claimed.
“If she is confident that the people of San Juan still have full trust and confidence in her, then she should let the recall process move forward and allow the people of San Juan to choose whom they want their mayor to be,” the former vice mayor said. Gomez, the former partner of Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada, was declared winner in the mayoral race in 2016 where she got 28,828 votes as against former Vice Mayor Zamora, who got 27,604 votes.