Comelec seeks stricter screening of party-list groups
MANILA, Philippines — The Commission on Elections (Comelec) is pushing for a stricter policy in accrediting party-list organizations in the coming poll exercises.
According to Commissioner Rowena Guanzon, adopting a more stringent policy in screening party list groups is the result of the controversy stirred by former National Youth Commission chair Ronald Cardema and Duterte Youth party list group.
“Tell the Party-list Coalition that I am going to be very strict now with registration,” Guanzon told reporters.
‘Been very liberal’
“We have been very liberal with some groups. We are going to be strict, I am going to be strict now,” she added.
Guanzon said she would urge other members of the commission to be less lenient in accrediting party list organizations.
“If they (party list groups) do not meet the documentary requirements, or they lack the requirements, I will deny their registration,” said the poll official.
The Comelec earlier disqualified Cardema from representing a youth sector group in the House because he was already 34 years old.
The Party-List System Act requires a youth sector representative to be 25 to 30 years old on Election Day.
But Duterte Youth has filed a new list of nominees that included Cardema as its first nominee to the House a day after the Comelec disqualified him for misrepresenting his qualifications.
The new list also showed Cardema’s wife, Ducielle Marie Cardema, as second nominee.
Guanzon said other party list organizations had no one else to blame for the stricter accreditation guidelines but Cardema and Duterte Youth.
“That is the outcome of this problem. Who will suffer as a result? The others. They should blame him (Cardema). Not us (Comelec),” she added.
Guanzon said she would also introduce additional requirements for party list accreditation, particularly when it comes to the use of names of popular politicians as names of the party list group.
“Those party list groups, which use the name of any politician or living person, must have the consent of that person under oath,” she said.
“Party list groups must disclose upon registration their sex disaggregated data, how many men? How many women? How many LGBTs?” Guanzon said.
“We are the Commission on Elections. We have the power, under the Constitution, to make our own rules,” she added.
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