A Commission on Elections (Comelec) official on Tuesday criticized the resolution by the House of Representatives urging them to immediately resolve pending cases of two party-list groups.
“That resolution of the House of Reps ‘urging’ the @COMELEC to resolve the cases encroaches on our independence as an independent constitutional Commission,” Commissioner Rowena Guanzon said in her Twitter account, @commrguanzon.
“By law, it is only the COMELEC that has exclusive sole power to register and qualify political parties and party-list nominees,” the Comelec official added.
At the same time, Guanzon said that as far as the two cases are concerned, they are following due process.
“Parties Cardemas were given due process... Hearings pleadings... but petitioners against them also have the right to be heard,” she added.
“What right to due process was violated by us @COMELEC? It is the people who have a right to due process here,” the Commissioner added.
Lawmakers approved House Resolution No. 552, urging the poll body to decide on the cases of Duterte Youth and Senior Citizens party-lists.
The members of the Lower House said six months have passed since the May 2019 elections but the Commission has yet to resolve the cases of the said groups.
They added that the delayed resolution of the cases of the two party-lists can even be considered as a violation of its own mandate to avoid disenfranchisement of voters.
The Senior Citizens group received a total of 510,356 votes in the May 2019 polls while the Duterte Youth organization received 347,297 votes in the last elections.
Meanwhile, the Comelec has accepted the withdrawal of Ronald Gian Cardema as first nominee of the Duterte Youth Party-List.
“The Commission after due deliberation, resolved, as it hereby resolves, to accept the withdrawal of Mr. Ronald Gian L. Cardema as First Nominee of Duterte Youth Party-List, having been executed in due form and as the same is ministerial act of the Commission,” stated the resolution signed by the seven-man panel.
The decision also directed the Law Department and the Office of the Commission Secretary to implement the Resolution.
Cardema filed his notice of withdrawal on September 13.*PNA
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