MANILA -- The administration party respected the decision of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) disqualifying its 42 candidates who were seeking for various local positions in Maguindanao.

Lakas-Kampi-CMD stalwart Secretary to the Cabinet Silvestre Bello III said that as they respected the decision of the Comelec, they are expecting the same respect from the poll agency as their bets will appeal for the decision in the Supreme Court (SC).

“Well that is the decision of the Comelec. We have to respect the decision of Comelec but at the same time we must also respect the decision these candidates to appeal this decision to the Higher Court,” Bello told Sun.Star.

He said although the disqualification would not have a great impact on their party, he still would want every candidate to share the right to be voted upon and elected.

In response to the Comelec’s decision, Bello said that their 42 members are set to file an appeal on the Supreme Court. “Yes, they are going to appeal.”

The 42 Lakas-Kampi-CMD bets together with other 14 other independent candidates were disqualified by the Comelec for they are not registered in the municipalities they are seeking post for May elections.

The Comelec law said that a candidate for a local elective post must be a registered voter in the barangay, municipality, city or province, or district where they intend to be elected.

It also requires candidates to declare in their certificates of candidacy (COCs) the area where they are registered voters.

Violation of this law has penalty of imprisonment of one to six years, disqualification from holding public office, and deprivation of the right of suffrage.

Aside from the disqualification, the Comelec Law Department also recommended the filing of charges against the 56 candidates for alleged violation of the Omnibus Election Code.

For Bello he said that it is up for the Comelec to proceed the case as supported by their evidence.

“That is for the Comelec to file (charges) and support it with their evidence after all Comelec is a Constitutional body (who has the right) to prosecute the electoral process,” he said. (Jill Beltran/Sunnex)