Comelec faces backlash for denying application of 2 party-list groups

Maris Federez   •   December 6, 2021   •   207

MANILA, Philippines — The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has earned the ire of two party-list groups as the poll body rejected their applications for accreditation for the 2022 national and local elections.

The groups, Nurses United and Guardians, trooped in front of the Comelec office in Manila to question the poll body’s decision to deny their application.

The Comelec, in its ruling, said the group’s representation of its membership is erroneous.

The Nurses United accused the commission of being cold-hearted to the condition of Filipino workers in the health sector.

“Pinatay po nila yong pag-asa ng mga nurses at mga manggagawang pangkalusugan. Pag-asa na magkaroon ng tunay na representante na manggagawang pangkalusugan sa loob ng kongeso. Sapagkat napakarami pong isyu na dapat matugunan sa usapin po ng ating manggagawang pangkalusugan,” said Maristela Abenojar, 1st nominee, NU Partylist.

The group’s motion for reconsideration was also denied by the poll body.

The group asked Comelec to provide them with a copy of the resolution of their denial.

Meanwhile, the group, Guardians, questioned Comelec for denying them the opportunity to make it to the list.

Based on the Comelec ruling, the group failed to prove that the majority of its membership are poor and are senior citizens.

The group pointed out that they have been assisting the government in disaster and relief operations, among others.

“Pinapakita lang namin na nandito kami. Kami yong sinasabi ninyong walang representation,” said Bong Contapay, Guardians Partylist 1st Nominee.

Since they failed in their appeal to the poll body, the group said they will be filing an appeal to the Supreme Court to have their application be reviewed and considered.

Meanwhile, based on Comelec Resolution No. 10735, to date, 152 registered party-list groups have made it to the list to be raffled a designated number come December 10.

On the other hand, 107 applications were denied; while 13 applications still await the final decision of the poll body.

The final list of party-list groups will be released 15 days after all the designation numbers are raffled off. —/mbmf (from the report of UNTV Correspondent Dante Amento)

COMELEC formally deputizes PNP, AFP for conduct of 2022 polls

Robie de Guzman   •   January 20, 2022

MANILA, Philippines – The Commission on Elections (COMELEC) has formally deputized the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) to ensure the conduct of “free, orderly, honest, peaceful, and credible” May 9, 2022 national and local elections.

Under Resolution No. 10755 promulgated on Wednesday, January 19, the COMELEC listed the following duties and functions to be performed by AFP and PNP personnel as its deputized agents:

  • Provide security to polling places, polling centers/voting centers, canvassing centers, and such other places or buildings, including election paraphernalia, equipment, forms, and supplies, that will be used in connection with the elections;
  • Provide security to the personnel of the Commission, its deputies, and other persons performing election-related functions;
  • Deploy, at the least time possible, troops for election duty in coordination with the concerned Regional Election Director, Provincial Election Supervisor, and Election Officer;
  • Make available, at the least time possible, land, air, and watercraft assets, communication systems, and other equipment, in connection with the conduct of the elections;
  • Look into the existence of any armed group organized to commit, or which is committing or attempting to commit, acts of terrorism, or threats to intimidate or coerce any person to vote for or against a candidate, and to suppress or prevent said acts of terrorism or threats;
  • Assist the Commission in implementing more effectively election laws and/ or rules and regulations, particularly the laws governing prohibition against military, policemen and provincial guards acting as bodyguards or security guards for the candidates, the use of armored vehicles and air or watercraft, and the prohibition on bearing, carrying or transporting firearms and other deadly weapons in public places;
  • Provide security escorts to candidates, subject to the conditions and restrictions on the Resolution imposing the ban on the carrying of firearms and other deadly weapons and the ban on the use of security personnel or bodyguards; provided that, the AFP can provide security escorts only in the absence of personnel of the PNP and other law enforcement agencies;
  • Conduct a periodic assessment of the peace and order conditions in critical areas and recommend measures which may be adopted by the Commission in the interest of free, orderly, honest, peaceful and credible elections;
  • Comply with and/ or implement directives or resolutions of the Commission, which shall take precedence over and above the orders and directives issued by any other office or agency of the Government, except the Supreme Court and those issued in habeas corpus cases;
  • Render periodic reports on action taken in accordance with this Resolution

The poll body reminded that despite being deputized, soldiers shall continue with the conduct of all Internal Security Operations or its own functions and responsibilities and that no changes in the assignments of police personnel can be effected except upon prior written permission of the commission.

The resolution shall take effect after its publication in two daily newspapers of general circulation in the Philippines, the COMELEC said.

 

 

Supreme Court issues TRO vs COMELEC’s decision to cancel Senate bet’s COC

Robie de Guzman   •   January 20, 2022

MANILA, Philippines – The Supreme Court (SC) has issued a temporary restraining order (TRO) against the Commission on Election’s (COMELEC) decision to declare as a nuisance and cancel the certificate of candidacy of a senatorial aspirant.

In a document posted by the SC Public Information Office on Twitter, the high court granted the petition of Norman Cordero Marquez, assailing the poll body’s decision to cancel his candidacy for the May 2022 elections.

The SC said the petition appears to be sufficient in form and substance.

Considering the allegations contained, the issues raised and the arguments adduced in the petition, the court said it has required the COMELEC to comment on the petition within a non-extendible period of 10 days from notice.

“Now, therefore, respondent COMELEC is hereby required to comment on the petition within a non-extendible period of 10 days from notice hereof,” the document read.

“Meanwhile, a temporary restraining order is issued, effective immediately and continuing until further orders this court,” it added.

COMELEC to provide free online campaign airtime for 2022 national bets

Robie de Guzman   •   January 14, 2022

MANILA, Philippines — The Commission on Elections (COMELEC) said it has launched an official platform that will provide free live streaming of e-rallies of national candidates for the 2022 national and local elections.

In a news release, the COMELEC said the platform, called Campaign S.A.F.E COMELEC e-Rally Channel, will provide e-rally airtime to all bona fide candidates for President, Vice President, Senator, and party-list organizations.

Each candidate for president and vice president will be granted 10-minute airtime for each of three slots in a night, while Senate candidates will be given three minutes for every five slots a night.

Party-list groups will be provided with three minutes each for five slots per night while political parties will have 10 minutes each for three slots.

The poll body said the platform will begin the live streaming by February 8, 2022, when the campaign period for national candidates starts.

“The COMELEC is set to release a schedule of e-rally timeslots for each elective position. Beginning February 8, 2022, live streaming of e-rallies will be conducted every night on the official social media channels of the COMELEC,” it said.

“Every night, there shall be three presidential and three vice-presidential 10-minute slots, and 10 party-list 3-minute slots,” it added.

COMELEC spokesperson James Jimenez said the commission will issue the pertinent guidelines on how the candidates and party-list organizations can participate in the e-rally channel.

“This platform can help ensure that even those candidates who have less in followers can still have more in views and exposure, so to speak,” he added.

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