Palace respects Comelec decision on Black and White Movement

November 8, 2012 11:12 pm 

MANILA, Nov. 8 — Malacanang respects the decision of the Commission on Election (Comelec) on the non-inclusion of the Black and White Movement as party-list.

Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda, who is a former member of the group, on Thursday said: "I have always maintained that the Comelec has its own rules and standards. So they’ve based their decisions on their appreciation of the rules. We respect that decision."

As to the next action that the Black and White Movement will take, he said he has not spoken to any member of the group.

When asked for his comment being a former member of the group, Lacierda said his personal opinion should not matter at this time.

"We will leave it with the Comelec. I have always maintained Comelec is a constitutional commission, separate, and independent from the executive branch. They based their decision on the appreciation of their own rules," he said.

Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes on Wednesday said that the 1st division, on October 29, ruled to deny the party-list application of the Black and White Movement.

In its ruling, the panel said it was constrained to deny the petition for registration as a regional political party under the party-list system even if the group complied with the requisites of registration as a regional political party in the National Capital Region.

However, it also pointed out that the Black and White Movement failed to show in its articles of incorporation, by-laws, history and track record that it represents the marginalized sectors of women, urban poor and youth.

It also pointed out that the group’s primary purpose is to advocate good governance while the by-laws are pro forma.

It showed that the track record of the group is also for good governance.

"To us, there is no question that Black and White courageously stood against corruption in government, fearlessly demanded accountability from public officials and zealously advocated good governance in public office," it said.

The ruling also said that while the group may have involved women, urban poor and youth in its advocacy, "their involvement is merely incidental to the advocacy for good governance."

"Black and White failed to mention in its track record its accomplishments pertaining to the women sector. Black and White failed to adduce pieces of evidence to substantiate its claim," it said.

Brillantes said the Black and White Movement has five days from receipt of the resolution to file an appeal, otherwise, the denial becomes final.

Meanwhile, Lacierda said the nice thing about the concept of party-list as envisioned by the frameworks of the Constitutional Commission is that "it allows voices to be heard apart from the conventional parties, for instance, the big political parties that we have."

"From that point alone, we have seen the resurgence of various party-list groups. The participation of party-list groups in and of itself is considered a successful innovation of the frameworks of the 1987 Constitution," he said.

Lacierda said what the Comelec is doing right now "is to perhaps purge the party-list based on the standards that they have and in accordance with the intent of the frameworks of the 1987 Constitution."

"As to how they (Comelec) implemented the intent of the frameworks of the 1987 Constitution, that’s what we’re seeing right now. And whether it is correct or not, that is also now the subject of petitions before the Supreme Court," he said.

"But certainly, after the 1987 Constitution was drafted, you have several jurisprudence coming from the Supreme Court enriching our knowledge or our basis for appreciation of the ideas on party-list groups," he added. (PNA)

FPV/LGI

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