Palace says B&W rejection proves Comelec independenceBy TJ Burgonio
Philippine Daily Inquirer
The Commission on Elections’ (Comelec) rejection of the Black and White (B&W) Movement’s attempt to register as a party-list group was proof of the poll body’s independence, Malacañang has claimed.
“I have always maintained [the] Comelec is a constitutional commission, separate, and independent from the Executive Branch. They based their decision on the appreciation of their own rules,” said presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda.
Lacierda, who is a former member of the civil society group, declined to say whether he was personally disappointed with the Comelec decision.
The Comelec’s first division denied the group’s petition for registration as a regional political party under party-list system, saying that the involvement of women, urban and youth in its main advocacy of good governance was “merely incidental.”
The Black and White Movement, which is perceived as being proadmnistration, listed Leah Navarro, Marco Cabrera, Jose Morales, Mary Shinn Ramos and Nolasco Apolonio as its nominees.
The Comelec has disqualified at least 69 groups in its purge of party-list organizations in the run-up to the 2013 elections, on the ground that these groups did not represent marginalized sectors.
Lacierda said the Comelec was undertaking the purge in accordance with the intent of the framers of the Constitution.
“Whether it is correct or not, that is now the subject of petitions before the Supreme Court,” he said.
The Kontra Daya poll watchdog group on Thursday said the Comelec should also disqualify the Akbayan party-list group because it did not represent marginalized groups and was allied with the Aquino administration.
“Completely douse all doubts on the independence of the poll body from Malacañang and the Liberal Party by disqualifying Akbayan, which remains to be their biggest test,” said Kontra Daya spokesperson Fr. Joe Dizon.
“The people cannot afford to relax until the entire system is completely purged of fake party-list groups,” he said.
A third party-list group on Thursday asked the Supreme Court to stop the Comelec from disqualifying it to run in the 2013 polls.
The Ako Bicol and the Association of Philippine Electric Cooperatives, which were also disqualified by the Comelec, went to the high court earlier to petition against their disqualification. With reports from Philip C. Tubeza and Christine Avendaño