Pimentel hopes Comelec will intervene in squabble inside PDP-Laban

Marje Pelayo   •   July 16, 2021   •   341

MANILA, Philippines — Senator Koko Pimentel expressed high hopes that the current conflict between two factions inside the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas Ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) will be resolved through the intervention of the Commission on Elections (Comelec).

This is if the conflict within the party continues until the submission of sworn information and update statements (SIUS) listing the party’s current members and officers.

“The Comelec should have a procedure na on how to speedy resolve this. Pwede naman silang mag-trace back. Sino ba yung recognize namin na party, PDP-laban. Then step by step,” Pimentel, the party’s Executive Vice-Chairman said.

“Ngayon umatras sila. Doon sa nagke-claim na PDP Laban, umatras sila. Kung sino ngayon yung makaatras dun sa recognize ng Comelec, that should be their first choice,” Pimentel added.

For Senator Pimentel, emerging factions within the party are not new.

In November 2018, the Comelec ruled that Senator Pimentel’s faction is the duly authorized representative of the PDP-Laban against the rival faction led by lawyer Atty. Rogelio Garcia.

The camp of PDP-Laban’s Vice Chairman Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi also expects the poll body to intervene and resolve the conflict.

“Kasi at the end of the day ang aming pagtatalo, sino ba ang magreresolba? Kung magtututuloy-tuloy ang pagtatalo? Ang Comelec,” noted Atty. Melvin Matibag, PDP-Laban’s Acting Secretary-General said.

Comelec’s ruling over the two factions is critical because whoever leads the PDP-Laban signs all documents for submission to the poll body, including the party’s official list of candidates for the 2022 National Elections.

Based on Comelec’s calendar, they have until August 15 to submit their SIUS.

But the faction of Secretary Cusi is determined to resolve the conflicts and prevent any split in the party.

“We will not allow that. Aayusin namin ang PDP-Laban. After the meeting tomorrow, I promise you, we will have a stronger PDP-Laban,” Matibag said.

“There might be legal questions but we have prepared for it in any forum,” he added.

Meanwhile, according to political science expert Professor Dennis Coronacion, if President Rodrigo Duterte suddenly decides to exit the PDP-Laban and join other political parties, his popularity will not be affected.

“Same pa rin yan. Actually kung titingnan natin yung mga political parties naman talaga, they don’t matter sa Philippine politics. They only matter because kinakailangan ng candidate ng affiliation. I think it’s required by the Comelec,” Coronacion said. MNP (with reports from Nel Maribojoc)

IATF lists COMELEC personnel, political aspirants as APORs ahead of candidacy filing in October

Robie de Guzman   •   September 24, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) has included the officials and staff of the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) in the list of authorized persons outside of residences (APOR), Malacañang said Friday.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said this in preparation for the opening of the filing of certificate of candidacy period in October.

Also for the purposes of filing of certificates of nomination and certificates of acceptance of nomination for party-list groups and certification of nomination and acceptance of aspirants for May 2022 elections, the following have also been listed as APORs:

  • Chairperson/president or in their absence the secretary-general or authorized representative of the political party, sectoral party, organization or coalition participating under the party-list system of representation
  • Aspirants or their authorized representatives
  • Companions as authorized under COMELEC Resolution No. 10717 dated August 18
  • Comelec officials/personnel in connection with the submission of hard copies of the COCs and related documents/materials to the COMELEC main office as authorized under COMELEC resolution no. 10717

Under the current guidelines for the alert level system in the National Capital Region, only healthcare workers and returning and departing overseas Filipino workers are considered as APORs.

Roque said the decision was made during the IATF meeting on Thursday, Sept. 23.

The period for the filing of candidacy for the May 2022 elections will take place from October 1 to 8.

PNP chief orders cops to ensure orderly voter’s registration as deadline nears

Robie de Guzman   •   September 24, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Police General Guillermo Eleazar on Friday directed police personnel to ensure the implementation of peace and order, and public health protocols in various sites as the deadline for the voter’s registration nears.

Eleazar issued the directive following reports of crowding and long lines in registration sites with only one week left before the registration closes.

He said police commanders should deploy enough number of personnel in various COMELEC registration sites to ensure the peaceful conduct of registration amid the threat of COVID-19.

Local police offices and units should also coordinate with local government units for the assistance they could provide once deployed in various registration sites.

The voter’s registration for the 2022 national and local elections is set to end on Sept. 30.

There have been calls and bills filed before the Congress to extend it until October, but the Comelec has yet to decide on the matter.

COMELEC to suspend issuance of voter’s certification from Sept. 27-30

Robie de Guzman   •   September 23, 2021

The Commission on Elections (COMELEC) on Thursday announced it will suspend the issuance of voter’s certification in all Offices of the Election Officer (OEO) from Sept. 27 to 30 to devote the last week of voter registration solely for registration purposes.

“The commission anticipates an influx of last-minute registrants as we get closer to the deadline. And given the limited number of field personnel, we must endeavor to make the full use of our limited manpower and resources in catering to applicants for voter registration,” COMELEC spokesperson James Jimenez said in a statement.

The poll body said the suspension covers all OEOs, even those housed in barangay and mall registration sites where the COMELEC field personnel have temporarily set up their satellite offices.

Meanwhile, the COMELEC said that the issuance of voter’s certification in the main office in Intramuros, Manila will not be affected.

Registered voters from any locality in the Philippines may secure a voter’s certification at the COMELEC’s National Central File Division satellite office in Intramuros.

To apply for a voter’s certification, the applicant must present one valid ID and submit a photocopy of the same ID, and pay for the P75 fee.

The voter’s certification, however, is free of charge for senior citizens, persons with disability, members of Indigenous Peoples and Indigenous Cultural Communities, and solo parents.

“Applicants who are unable to apply for the certification personally may do so through an authorized representative, who must bear an authorization letter for that purpose. The representative must also present a valid ID and a photocopy of the same ID,” the poll body said.

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