ZAMBOANGA CITY (MindaNews/5 October) – Former Zamboanga del Norte representative and convicted child rapist Romeo Jalosjos is seeking the mayoralty post of this city.
The Commission on Elections (Comelec) office here on Friday accepted his COC, despite the Election Registration Board’s (ERB) decision to turn down last August the voter’s registration of Jalosjos
Jalosjos, 71, who has a residence in Barangay Tetuan, had registered before the Comelec’s District II office last April 26, the same day he announced his intention to run as mayor in this city.
District II election officer Joseph Ian Tria said he will leave it up with the Comelec’s law department to decide on the candidacy of Jalosjos.
Tria noted that Jalosjos had filed an appeal before the court after the ERB rejected at first, then turned down the motion for reconsideration, on his application for voter’s registration.
Tria chairs the ERB with City Civil Registrar Alexander Elias and City Division of Schools officer-in-charge Pedro Melchor Natividad as members.
Among those who questioned before the ERB the application for voter’s registration of Jalosjos were Deputy House Speaker and first district Rep. Ma. Isabelle Climaco-Salazar, and Joemar Lobregat, Mayor Celso Lobregat’s younger brother.
Salazar is the Liberal Party’s (LP) bet for mayor while the younger Lobregat, who chairs the locally organized Adelante Zamboanga Party (AZaP), is the second district congressional bet of the LP-Laban ng Demokratikong Pilipino-AZap coalition.
Mayor Lobregat is the coalition’s bet on the first congressional district.
Jalosjos and his complete slate, accompanied by their relatives and supporters, trooped to the city Comelec office after attending a mass at the Carmelite Church.
They filed their respective COC’s under the banner of the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA). Jalosjos has been appointed as the alliance chairman for this city and in Zamboanga del Norte province.
Atty. Giovanni Luistro, one of the legal counsels of Jalosjos, said he considers the acceptance of the COC as “a victory on the part of the people,” referring to the electorate “who wanted his client to run for mayor.”
“Now it’s official,” Luistro said when Tria accepted the COC of Jalosjos.
“They have been saying that he cannot run and this only shows that it was not true,” Giovanni said while showing to reporters Jalosjos’ COC.
Jalosjos’ running mate is her cousin, former Dapitan City Councilor Mercy Arquiza, who resigned early this year.
UNA’s candidates for the two congressional districts are former priest Crisanto Dela Cruz for the first district and former vice mayor Jose Manuel Dalipe II for the second district.
Its city council slate includes two incumbent city councilors, a former vice mayor, a former local police chief, a former barangay chairman and businessmen. (MindaNews)