Bare all party-list substitution bids, Comelec told

AMID the controversy stemming from the application for substitution of former National Youth Commission (NYC) chair Ronald Cardema, poll watchdog group Kontra Daya Saturday, May 25, asked the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to disclose all pending petitions for substitution of other party-lists.

In a statement, Kontra Daya said the Comelec should be more transparent regarding the status of party-lists, whose nominees shall be seating as members of the House of Representatives.

“The Comelec deserves to be called out for not being as transparent as it should be in disclosing relevant information to the public,” said Kontra Daya.

“The Comelec should state categorically if there are other withdrawals and substitutions that happened,” it furthered.

The group said such a disclosure is necessary if the public is to be able to properly evaluate the potential incoming lawmakers.

“It is imperative for the Comelec to publish all withdrawals and substitutions of party-list nominees to give the opportunity for concerned groups and individuals to intervene and oppose if necessary,” said Kontra Daya.

It said it will not be surprising if there are other groups that are using similar schemes in order to gain entry to Congress.

“The people cannot help but suspect that it is not only Cardema who has resorted to a backdoor route in getting a party-list seat in the House of Representatives,” said Kontra Daya.

On the eve of Election Day, Cardema filed an application to become a substitute nominee for Duterte Youth party-list.

This was after his wife and Duterte Youth’s first nominee, Ducielle Marie Suarez, withdrew her acceptance to the nomination of the group, along with the four other nominees of the party-list.

Since then, over 10 petitions have been filed at the Comelec, mostly questioning Cardema’s qualification as a youth sector representative since he is already 33 years old.

Earlier, Comelec-Education and Information Department assistant director Frances Arabe said other party-lists attempting to change their nominees, aside from Duterte Youth, are Ako Bicol, Amin, Kabalikat, Koop-Kampi, Senior Citizens, Ako Bisaya, Buklod, and Butil. (HDT/SunStar Philippines)


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