THE Hugpong sa Tawong Lungsod, a Davao City-based political organization composed of leaders associated with Davao City Mayor Rodrigo R. Duterte, is recognized as a political party with the Commission on Elections (Comelec).
But it is a local party, thus may not have the requirements set out by the Comelec to field a president without an ally.
Maysah Casar, election assistant for the first district in Davao City, told Sun.Star Davao that the Hugpong sa Tawong Lungsod has been accredited as a local political party in 2013.
The former vice mayor and now Mayor Rodrigo R. Duterte registered Hugpong as a political party on March 28, 2011 with the Comelec. Hugpong beat the March 30, 2011 deadline for registration of the political parties. "It is a registered political party in the local. Those candidates under the party shall provide Certificate of Nomination and Acceptance (Cona) during the filing of the candidacy (COC)," Casar said.
According to the Comelec Resolution 9518, Cona of the official candidates of duly-registered political party or the coalition of political parties shall be in five legible copies.
The Cona must be attached to and filed simultaneously with the COC. It should also be stamped received in the same manner as the COC.
Based on the Comelec Resolution 9661, only six local parties filed a petition for accreditation as one of the two major local parties for their respective provinces and cities.
The major local parties are as follows: Hugpong sa Tawong Lungsod (Hugpong) in Davao City, Kusog Baryuhanon in Davao del Norte province and Kapanalig at Kambilan Ning Memalen Pampanga in Pampanga province.
Other major local parties are United Negros Alliance (UNA) in Negros Occidental province, Partido Abe Kapampangan (PAK) in Angeles City, and Arangkada San Joseno Political Party (Arangkada) in San Jose Del Monte City. There are around 130 local, regional, and national parties registered with the Comelec.
In Comelec Resolution No. 9984, it has opened petitions for being named as dominant majority, dominant minority, 10 major national parties, and two major local parties not later than November 9, 2015.
“A political party duly registered with the Commission may file a verified petition for accreditation,” said Comelec Resolution No. 9984.
In determining these, Comelec will be looking at the party’s established record including their showing in the past elections and the number of elective officials belonging to the party. Other indicators to be looked into are organized chapters; the ability to field a complete slate of candidates from the municipal level to the position of the president; and other analogous circumstances that may determine their relative organizations and strengths.
A dominant majority party and dominant minority party shall be entitled to get copies of election returns (ERs) to be produced by the voting machines, receive electronically-transmitted precinct results, get the copies of the certificates of canvass (COCs), and assign official watchers in every polling places and canvassing centers.
For the 10 major national parties, they shall be entitled to get copies of ERs and COCs, and official watchers; while copies of ERs and COCs shall also be allocated to the two major local parties.
In the last presidential elections in 2013, it was President Benigno C. Aquino III’s Liberal Party which was named as dominant majority party, while the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) of Vice President Jejomar Binay was ruled as the dominant minority party.
Also, only four were designated as major national parties at that time -- the Nacionalista Party (NP), Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC), Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats (LAKAS-CMD), and National Unity Party (NUP) – because there were no other petitioners The Comelec scheduled the filing of certificates of candidacy nationwide next week, from October 12-16.