By Leslie Ann Aquino
With the May 2019 midterm polls already nearing, the camp of former Foreign Affairs secretary Alan Peter Cayetano and wife Taguig Mayor Lani Cayetano are praying for the speedy resolution of the petitions filed against them.
“We hope for that (speedy resolution). It’s in the law that a disqualification case should be decided before the elections. The printing of ballots is already set to begin also. While we have no doubt that their names would be included…it’s best if there are no more questions,” George Garcia, lawyer of Alan and Lani, said in an interview after attending the hearing of their cases at the Commission on Elections (Comelec) in Manila, Monday.
“We will face whatever the decision is. If the decision is favorable, much better,” he added.
But Garcia believes they will win their case as they did not violate any law.
“We are convinced that the Comelec will junk the cases filed against (the Cayetanos),” he said.
The lawyer reiterated what they said in their Verified Answer that it was not impossible for a candidate to have numerous residences but have only one domicile or legal residence.
Emil Marañon III, counsel of petitioner Leonides Buac, asked the Comelec to come up with a definite ruling on the issue.
“It’s clear that Alan and Lani Cayetano are fooling the people. This practice is becoming common wherein couples run in different districts. We want Comelec to come up with a definite ruling if this is allowed or not. We believe that this is not allowed under the law,” he said in a separate interview.
Earlier, Alan sought the dismissal of the petition filed against him by Buac at the Comelec.
He said the petition to Deny Due Course or Cancel his Certificate of Candidacy should be denied or dismissed for lack of merit.
His wife Taguig Mayor Lani Cayetano, who is also facing a similar petition filed by Buac, is also seeking the same course of action from the poll body. The Taguig Mayor is also running for a congressional seat next year.
Buac earlier petitioned the poll body to deny due course or cancel the certificates of candidacy of Alan and Lani for allegedly lacking the required minimum residency requirement
Alan is running for Congressman of the First Legislative District of Taguig-Pateros, while Lani is running for Congress in the Second Legislative District of Taguig City.
The petitions questioned the claim of Alan that he is a resident of Barangay Bagumbayan in the First District, and the claim of Lani Cayetano that she resides in Barangay Fort Bonifacio in the Second District.
Buac said it was impossible and absurd for the two to claim different residences when they are husband and wife who are obliged to live together which was contradicted by the couple.