What are the grounds to cancel the registration of a party-list group?
The Commission on Elections (Comelec) said espousing violence is one of them.
“Kailangan hindi lang isang incident of violence. Kailangan makita na itong violence ay talagang ineespouse as a matter of policy as a means of pursuing their goal. (It must first be proven that it is not just in one incident, but that violence is really being espoused as a matter of policy by a group as a means to pursue their goal)” Comelec Spokesperson James Jimenez told Dobol B sa News TV on Sunday.
“Kailangan patunayan iyon at kailangan malinaw ang responsibilidad sa organization na yun (It must be proven clearly and that the responsibility of the organization is undeniable)” he added.
Jimenez said it is also within the rights of anyone to question the qualifications of any organization participating in an electoral exercise.
“Karapatan naman ng iba na siguraduhin din na ang lumalahok ay karapat dapat din sa party list. Hindi natin masabi na bawal ireklamo ang isang partylist organization. Kaya nga tayo may hearing. (It is within the right of anyone to ensure that all those participating in party-list elections are eligible. It would be wrong to say that a complaint cannot be filed against a partylist organization. That’s why we have a hearing) It’s a balancing of rights,” he said.
Based on Section 6 of the Party-List System Law the removal and/or cancellation of registration of a party-list organization is possible if it is proven to be a religious sect or denomination, organization or association organized for religious purposes; advocates violence or unlawful means to seek its goal; is a foreign party or organization; is receiving support from any foreign government, foreign political party, foundation, organization, for partisan election purposes; or violates or fails to comply with laws, rules or regulations relating to elections.
The National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) earlier bared its plan to seek the disqualification of the Makabayan bloc’s party-list groups before the Commission.