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SC stops Cabanatuan plebiscite

The Supreme Court (SC) stopped yesterday the Commission on Elections (Comelec) from conducting a plebiscite in Cabanatuan City on January 25 for the conversion of the city into a highly-urbanized city (HUC).

In a resolution that contained the temporary restraining order (TRO), the SC granted the plea of Nueva Ecija Gov. Aurelio Umali to stop the plebiscite.

According to Umali, all the residents of the province of Nueva Ecija should take part in the plebiscite because all of them will be affected once Cabanatuan City becomes an HUC.

Umali cited a provision in the Local Government Code which states that “qualified voters of highly urbanized cities shall remain excluded from voting for elective provincial officials.”

In a press briefing, SC Spokesman Theodore O. Te said:

“The Court issued a temporary restraining order ‘effective immediately and continuing until further orders from this Court, enjoining respondents or any of their respective representatives or agents from conducting a plebiscite on January 25, 2014 for the conversion of the City of Cabanatuan into a Highly Urbanized Cioty, and from enforcing or implementing Comelec minute Resolution No. 13-1353.” (Rey G. Panaligan)