Ousted Agusan mayor calls for judicial reform

“The fight now is no longer for politics but for justice and judicial reform,” Ramon said in a press conference Monday.

Ramon assailed Maclang’s 101-page decision, which declared Jesus as winner in the mayoralty race with a “plurality of 1,018 votes.”

The judge ordered the provincial office of the Commission on Elections to install Jesus as mayor of Carmen town.

Jesus told reporters that he already received the court order that would allow him to take over the town hall. “Anytime, I can take over,” he said.

Ramon, on the other hand, said his lawyers are now working to secure a temporary restraining order from the Comelec central office in Manila.

Jesus, the mayoralty bet of KAMPI, filed an election protest alleging that the May 14 mayoral race in Carmen was marred with fraud.

According to Maclang’s ruling, the 981 votes based on stray ballots and the 315 votes in ballots written by one person should be deducted from Ramon’s votes.

“The judge cheated me. I am now a victim of injustice,” Ramon said. He claimed that his votes were counted in favor of his brother.

Ramon was proclaimed winner in the 2007 mayoralty contest by Carmen’s Municipal Board of Canvassers crediting him with 4,818 votes against his elder brother’s 4,540, or a difference of a mere 278 votes.

Lawyer Nelbert Poculan, Ramon’s lead counsel, said they would file administrative charges against Maclang. He said the judge’s ruling was merely based on “circumstantial evidences.”

Ramon said his case would be the first step in “fighting against corruption in the judiciary.” He added that “anybody who violates the law should answer to the law.” (Alden Pantaleon / MindaNews)