No need to pay fee to protest party-list group
The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has removed a stumbling block for those opposing the participation of questionable party-list groups and nominees in the 2013 elections by allowing them to register their concern even informally with only a letter.
Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr. said such groups or persons may not have to file a formal complaint and pay the P10,000 fee to help the election body “cleanse” the party-list system.
“If they don’t want to file a formal opposition and they don’t want to pay the fee, they can just write us [a letter],” he said.
Comelec’s Resolution No. 9366, issued earlier this year, imposed a filing fee of P10,000 and a legal research fee of P100 for each petition filed with the election body.
But the Comelec would still entertain complaints sent by letter as it had inherent powers to screen the qualifications of the party-list groups and their nominees, Brillantes said.
“We have motu propio authority to look into these complaints so even without a formal complaint, we can question them (party-list groups),” he said.
According to Republic Act No. 7491, or the Party-List System Act of 1995, which created the party-list system, “any organized group of persons … provided that the sectors shall include labor, peasant, fisherfolk, urban poor, indigenous cultural communities, elderly, handicapped, women, youth, veterans, overseas workers and professionals” can be registered as a party-list group.
A Comelec resolution issued in 2010 stated that a nominee should be “one who belongs to the marginalized and underrepresented sector/s, the sectoral party, organization, political party or coalition he seeks to represent.”
Last week, the Kontra Daya election watchdog group urged the Comelec to scrap the filing fee so more people could register their complaints or opposition against party-list groups and nominees whose backgrounds they deem questionable.
Last week, the group submitted a letter to the Comelec that identified several groups seeking accreditation in the midterm elections next year which it said had questionable qualifications.
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