Comelec drops Reyes as 1-UTAK nominee

September 23, 2010 10:26 am 

MANILA, Sept. 22 — The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has disqualified former Energy Secretary Angelo Reyes as the first nominee of One-United Transport Koalisyon (1-UTAK) party-list at the House of Representatives.

In a Commission en banc resolution, they ruled that Reyes does not truly represent 1-UTAK since the retired general failed to prove that he was an advocate of the transport group despite presenting a long list of evidentiary documents looking to prove that he promotes the advocacies of the party-list group.

“In sum, all the actions of respondent Reyes, which he claims as proofs of his advocacy to the transport sector were done not in his personal capacity but in his official capacity as secretary of departments concerned,” said the 13-page ruling penned by Comelec Commissioner Rene Sarmiento.

It added, “Reyes, therefore, was just doing his job and was not acting as an advocate of the marginalized and underrepresented sector, which 1-UTAK seeks to represent.”

Aside from Sarmiento, those who voted to drop Reyes are Comelec Chairman Jose Melo, Commissioners Lucenito Tagle, and Gregorio Larrazabal.

Reyes will be replaced by Engr. Homer Mercado, third nominee of the party. The second nominee, Atty. Vigor Mendoza II, has resigned citing professional commitments.

The commissioners who dissented are Nicodemo Ferer, Elias Yusoph and Armando Velasco.

The Comelec also cited the group’s Amended Constitution and By-Laws states that for one to become a member, she/he must be a transport worker, a transport leader/member of a transport group, or a recognized transport group.

“By these reasons, we believe that Reyes is not qualified to become a nominee of 1-UTAK party-list for the simple reason that he does not belong to the marginalized and underrepresented sector, which 1-UTAK seeks to represent,” the resolution added.

Earlier, Comelec Second Division approved the nomination of Reyes as 1-UTAK representative.

Under the Party-List Law, the nominee should belong to the marginalized and underrepresented sector.

The decision also took cognizance of the Executive Committee decision to withdraw the nomination of Reyes last August in coming up with the decision.(PNA) LOR/FGP/utb

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