SC order to include Ang Ladlad in the ballot‏ gives Comelec the jitters

January 13, 2010 10:33 pm 

MANILA, Jan. 13 – Commission on Elections (Comelec) spokesperson James Jimenez on Wednesday expressed the poll body's concern over the decision of the Supreme Court (SC) allowing the inclusion of Ang Ladlad in the ballot.

“It can be a precedent," that may be invoked by many people especially those who failed to get accreditation from Comelec,” he explained.

"It would appear that you can go to the SC and then ask them on the strength of what they did with Ladlad to order the Comelec to put the name of your party list organization on the ballots,” he added.

Jimenez is also apprehensive that the High Court’s order might lead to the disenfranchisement of voters especially if the SC decides to disqualify the group which represents gays, lesbians and transexuals.

“If you have names on the ballots that later on you cannot vote for, even if it has attracted a lot of votes it will not be counted. In a sense we’ve already disenfranchised these people,” Jimenez said.

Nonetheless, Comelec will comply with the order. “Whatever happens, we will comply with the decision of SC,” said Jimenez.

He stressed that that last minute inclusion, last minute reversal of poll body’s decision will have an impact since they are also following a schedule.

The Comelec is set to print the ballots on January 25.

Meanwhile, Catholic prelates have again opposed the accreditation of the Ang Ladlad.

In an interview over Radio Veritas 846, Antipolo auxiliary Bishop Francis de Leon said: “They are accepted by society in general and well represented especially in entertainment. Besides it’s a lifestyle. So there is no need to represent them in Congress.”

For his part, Borongan Bishop Crispin Varquez opposed the accreditation of the group lest they might push for bills that are immoral.

"It’s very dangerous to have Ang Ladlad there. There is that big possibility of them pushing for immoral bills. They are even in favor of premarital sex and for sure they would also advocate same sex marriage. That’s why they should not be included in the party list elections,” he said. (PNA) vcs/FGP

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