Guanzon urged to respect SC ruling

October 18, 2018
Rowena Guanzon

Allowing parties not representing marginalized, unrepresented sectors to participate in polls.

A PARTY-LIST congressman yesterday reminded Commission on Elections (Comelec) Commissioner Rowena Guanzon about a Supreme Court (SC) ruling in 2013 allowing political parties and groups not representing marginalized and unrepresented sectors to participate in the party-list elections.

This was stressed by Ako Bicol Rep. Alfredo Garbin Jr., a lawyer, after Guanzon sought the passage of a law banning political dynasties and pushed for the amendments of Republic Act (RA) No. 7941 or the Party-List Law to prevent a “family affair” in various elective positions.

While sharing the observation of Guanzon, Garbin underscored the need for the Comelec official to always be guided by the SC ruling in making comments.

“Commissioner Guanzon, being a lawyer, must abide by it (ruling) because all SC decisions forms part of the law of the land. She should focus more on the strict implementation of RA No. 7941 or the Party-List Law,” said Garbin.

“As correctly put by the SC the law does not require nominees of party list to belong to the marginalized as the same was the real intent of the framers of the 1987 Constitution,” Garbin added.

Ako Bicol party-list Rep. Rodel Batocabe, president of the Party List Coalition (PLC), said the issue of “family affair” in public office should be submitted to the sound discretion of the people who choose their leaders during elections.

“Let these observations be an election issue and submit the same to our electorate,” said Batocabe, adding that voters usually pick their leaders because of the brand of public service they have been delivering during their incumbencies.

Earlier, resigned Foreign Affairs Sec. Alan Peter Cayetano said there is nothing illegal and immoral with him and his wife, incumbent Taguig City Mayor Lani Cayetano running together for seats, of Taguig City in the House of Representatives.

Cayetano cited the case of Isabela Rep. Rodolfo “Rodito” Albano III and the latter’s wife, Deputy Speaker and Davao City Rep. Mylene Garcia-Albano this 17th Congress.

Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio shrugged off criticisms that the family led by President Rodrigo “Rody” Duterte is building a political dynasty after she sought reelection while her brother, former Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte will run as the city’s first district representative, and her youngest brother, Sebastian Duterte filed his certificate of candidacy (CoC) for vice mayor.

This 17th Congress, there is also a case of brother and sister in the situation of Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco and Mata party-list Rep. Tricia Velasco-Catera.