Cancel registration of ‘rebellious’ party-list groups? Not so fast — Comelec’s Guanzon

News Philippines Oct 11, 2019 at 3:33 pm

The party-lists representatives. Photo by Angie de Silva/RapplerMANILA, Philippines – National security officials may want the poll body to cancel the registration of party-list groups with supposed links to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), but for Commission on Elections (Comelec) Commissioner Rowena Guanzon, it’s not as easy as simply giving an order.

In a Senate hearing on electoral reforms and people’s participation on Tuesday, October 8, committee chairperson Senator Imee Marcos asked the poll body for its thoughts on accusations leveled by “certain security officials” against party-list groups whom they described as “legitimate front organizations for insurgent rebellious groups.”

Marcos did not name any specific party.

Guanzon emphasized the proper process would be for any registered voter to file a verified petition with the poll body.

“We can only cancel them by petition and that has to be filed. They cannot just tell us to cancel their registration. They’re already registered. They have been voted by the people for many years already,” she said.

Guanzon, an independent voice in the Comelec, likewise slammed the scare tactics used when threatening to cancel registrations of party-list groups with supposed links to the CPP and its armed wing, the New People’s Army.

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