By Leslie Aquino
Expect a stricter policy from the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) when it comes to accrediting party-list organizations in future polls.
COMELEC Commissioner Rowena Guanzon said they will be stricter in accrediting partylist organizations following the controversy stirred by Duterte Youth and first nominee Ronald Cardema.
“We are going to be strict, I am going to be strict now,” she said.
“If they do not meet the documentary requirements, or they lack the requirements, I will deny their registration,” added Guanzon.
Party list organizations, she said should blame Cardema and the Duterte Youth for the stricter accreditation guidelines.
“That is the outcome of this problem. Who will suffer as a result? The others. They should blame him (Cardema). Not us (COMELEC),” said Guanzon.
“We are the Commission on Elections. We have the power, under the Constitution, to make our own rules,” she added.
The poll official said they are also looking to require groups using the names of popular politicians as names of their party-list group to get the consent of the person.
“Those party-list groups, which use the name of any politician or living person, must have the consent of that person under oath,” she said.
“I think these young people voted for that (Duterte Youth) group because of the name of the President,” added Guanzon.
Last week, the Comelec First Division declared Duterte Youth partylist first nominee Cardema as ineligible for being overaged.
Later, the group submitted a new set of nominees to the poll body with Cardema and his wife Ducielle as first and second nominees, respectvely.