By Leslie Ann G. Aquino
The First Division of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) has issued a temporary restraining order (TRO) stopping a Regional Trial Court (RTC) judge from issuing a decision on the election protest filed by former Mayor Moises Villasenor of Lucban, Quezon against incumbent Mayor Celso Dator.
Villasenor is contesting Dator’s proclamation as mayor in the last May 2016 polls.
“In the interest of justice and so as not to render the issues raised therein moot and academic and the proceedings before this Commission a useless exercise, the Commission (First Division) hereby issues a Temporary Restraining Order,” read the order of the poll body dated April 5, 2017.
The TRO enjoined Judge Adolfo V. Encomienda of RTC Branch 57 in Lucena City, Quezon, and all persons under his direct supervision, to “ceast and desist” from enforcing/implementing or continuing to enforce and implement the orders issued in February and March, relative to the election protest, as well as performing other acts/incident to the case.
The TRO signed by Presiding Commissioner Christian Robert Lim is effective immediately and is good for a 60-day period. The Comelec a hearing on the petition is set for April 19.