Former Tagbilaran City Mayor Dan Lim categorically said he remains unfazed by the Comelec’s decision to disqualify him from running for any public office in the future,
This was his reaction after the poll body, deciding en banc, found him guilty of the election -related charges
“I am not bothered in any way about the report which was over played by the local media last Sunday,” he blurted while saying the charges have yet to be filed with the Regional Trial Court (RTC) following the poll body’s final decision.
Instead of airing his defense on the complaint filed against him, the former mayor questioned the local media why the news was considered a major one while the news on alleged graft against Rep. Arthur Yap was not given prominence by the local media.
He did not answer the question by dyTR anchorman Ted Ayeng who wanted to hear the legal remedies he would be taking after the poll body’s decision.
During the same radio interview last Tuesday, Lim diverted the issue with his accusation that it was his sister Nely Yap, mother of City Mayor Baba Yap, who was behind the case which was finally decided by Comelec en banc.
“I don’t know why they are afraid of me running back to city politics,” Lim questioned even as he has been defeated three times in previous elections when he run for congressman and city mayor in separate elections.
The radio interview ended without Lim commenting about the case.
The case stemmed from the complaint filed by Provincial Administrator Ae Damalerio questioning his continued airing of his political program over dyTR when it was already within the campaign period.
Criminal charges have been approved for filing in court by the Commission on Elections (en banc) against Lim and two radio broadcasters in the province in violation of the Fair Election Act and the Omnibus Election Code.
If proven guilty of the election-related charges, Lim may be slapped with perpetual disqualification to hold public office and the right to vote, while his two co-accused, Ted Ayeng and Lito Responte, both of station DYTR, may lose their license to engage in radio broadcast, and their station is facing the possibility of losing its franchise to operate in Bohol, said lawyer Lord “Popot” Marapao IV, counsel for provincial administrator Damalerio, who filed the case against the three respondents before the holding of the May 13 elections.
In a resolution of Comelec (en banc) issued on August 10, 2017, the poll body’s final verdict found probable cause and strong evidence that the three had violated the country’selection laws.
Atty. Marapao said that the case against the former city mayor is slated to be filed before the Regional Trial Court (RTC).
Atty. Marapao, citing Section 264 of RA 9006, said that “any person found guilty of any election offense under this Code shall be punished with imprisonment of not less than one year but not more than six years and shall not be subject to probation. In addition, the guilty party shall be sentenced to suffer disqualification to hold public office and deprivation of the right to suffrage.”
Marapao, quoting Section 7 of Comelec Resolution No. 9615, said that media outlets which violate election rules “shall be criminally liable with the candidate and, if applicable, further suffer the penalties of suspension or revocation of franchise or permit in accordance with law.”
The case stemmed from Lim’s defiance of Comelec laws that prohibit any media personality from continuing his media-related activity if he has filed his certificate of candidacy for an election.
In deciding on the complaint filed by Damalerio, the Comelec said Lim “continued to go on-air even after the start of the campaign period for local elective officials on April 29, 2013 in his radio program “Ang Mayor sa Dakbayan” which has a regular schedule every Saturday, 8:00 – 10:00am over station dyTR.”
The poll body cited Lim for ignoring the letter sent by Atty. Lionel Marco Castillano, provincial election supervisor IV of Bohol, to the station manager of dyTR asking the mayor to stop broadcasting on his radio program.
It may be recalled that Lim who run for congressman against Rep. Rene Relampagos was mounting his campaign over the airlanes where he attacked his political opponent.
“This Office resolved as it hereby recommends for the filing of the case for violation of Section 6 of Republic Act No. 9006 and Section 32 of Resolution No. 9615 against respondent Atty. Dan Neri Lim, and another case for violation of RA 9006 and Comelec Resolution No. 9615 against respondents Lim, Ted Aying, and Lito Responte,”
The Resolution (en banc) was signed by Comelec Chairman J. Andres Bautista, Comelec Commissioner Christian Robert Lim, and Comelec Commissioner Al Perreno.
The Comelec cited Lim for not only utilizing his radio program in furtherance of his political party (Bag-ong Bol-anon) objectives but also in spreading malicious and defamatory criticisms against the opposing political party, the Liberal Party in particular,” the Comelec resolution said.