Petitions vs party-list nominees may be filed until April 1

March 29, 2010 11:34 pm 

MANILA, March 29 – The last day for filing of petitions to disqualify nominees of party-list groups is on Thursday, April 1 the Commission on Elections (Comelec) said.

Hence, Comelec Spokesperson James Jimenez on Monday advised individuals or groups who are planning to question any party-list nominee to file their petitions instead of wasting their time complaining.

“Instead of wasting time complaining about it now just get on with it. Too much time is wasted on scenario building, too much time is wasted on complaining, too much time is wasted on whining, just do it,” he said.

In a related development, Kontra-Data, an electoral reform group has questioned the short period given to those who will file petitions for disqualification and the high-priced filing fee of P5,000 per petition.

Jimenez explained that the Comelec can act motu proprio on cases regarding nominees, if they fall within Section 7 of Comelec Resolution 8807.

“Section 7 pertains to the violations of basic requirements to be a nominee. For example, if you are a nominee of two parties instead of just one, then motu proprio, Comelec can ask against your nomination what this means. This is clear cut cases without defenses possible. Either you are a nominee of one or a nominee of 2, this is exclusionary principle,” he noted.

Jimenez added that if the case involves on whether the nominee really represents the sector, is another story since the individual/s being questioned is/are given time to answer the petition filed against them.

“Everyone will be given a chance to answer the petition… we understand the concern of various groups since they want results right away but ultimately those who are being complained has the right to be heard so that’s the reason why we have to go through the entire process,” he said.

However, Jimenez said that the people should remember that it’s not the nominee that’s going to be voted for on Election Day it is the party-list.

“So concerns about there being enough time to finish disqualification proceedings that’s a little off base because you’re going to vote for the party-list not the nominee. So the group themselves remain accredited regardless of the challenge to their nominee, so if there’s a challenge party-list will be voted for. If nominee is disqualified, then it would be the simplest of things for the nominee to advance the second nominee… that’s the beauty of the system the nominees are the most disposable aspect of the party-list system,” the poll body official said.

On the filing fee, Jimenez said that they can always ask Comelec for some sort of accommodation.

“Whole resolution itself is prefaced with statement Comelec can brush aside technicalities of procedure in interest of substantive justice… the poll body can brush aside technicalities, same thing with docket fees,” he added.

A total of 185 party-list organizations submitted the list of nominees that will represent their group at the House of Representatives.

Each party is allowed to give five names as nominees. (PNA)

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