Commission on Elections (Comelec) Commissioner George Erwin Garcia said on Thursday, May 26 that it will be “unfair” not to proclaim winning party-list groups who have pending cases since the poll body has done it in the past.
“I think it’s so unfair simply because you have a pending case na questioning the qualification or the accreditation of the party-list that you will not proclaim the party-list,” Garcia said during a television interview on ABS-CBN News Channel.
Garcia made the statement in light of the calls not to proclaim Kabataan and Gabriela party-list who are both facing disqualification cases. He stated that based on their determination is “not that meritorious” or even if it was, they can still proceed with the proclamation of these party-lists.
In this case, Garcia said that the poll body exercised its discretion in proclaiming the winning party-lists. He added that before, there were party-list groups who also had pending cases but the Comelec still pushed through with the proclamation.
“In this case we exercised our discretion in the same manner that under ordinary circumstances we are likewise proclaiming candidates even with pending disqualification cases with the Comelec,” he explained.
“Simply because first, there was already the mandate of the people, number two because of the precedent, number three what if the cases are really not meritorious?,” he added.
Garcia stated that there have been instances of cases being filed against certain party-list groups just for the purpose of derailing their proclamation.
He said in a previous interview that in terms of disqualification cases, as long as there’s no final decision on the case, they have no choice but to proclaim the candidate.
He added that they can do this as long as there is nothing preventing them from conducting the proclamation. But the case is different when it comes to party-list groups.
“Sa party-list po iba po yung rule po natin doon. Ang nagiging rule po dati ay kapag ang party-list ay humaharap ng disqualification, hindi muna pinapaproklama (When it comes to party-lists, we follow a different rule. Before, the rule is that if a party-list is facing disqualification, it cannot be proclaimed yet),” he explained.
On the other hand, if the nominees are the ones facing disqualification charges, they cannot be proclaimed yet but the party-list will push through with the proclamation.