Comelec urged to swiftly rule on petition to delist Duterte Youth

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    FORMER poll chairman Sixto Brillantes yesterday asked the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to now nullify the registration of the Duterte Youth party-list, saying it failed to comply with the requirements of the law.

    In an interview after the hearing of their “Petition to Cancel Party-List Registration and/or to Declare Nullity of its Registration”, Brillantes said it is imperative for the Comelec Second Division to already rule on the case considering the proximity of the retirement date of its presiding commissioner.

    “For one thing, by February 2, Commissioner Luie Guia will already retire. Hopefully, we can finish this as soon as possible,” said Brillantes, who serves as one of the counsels of the petitioners.

    “It appears we may see some delays if that happens. Once Commissioner Guia is gone, it’s a problem because I believe he is the one that understands this,” he added.

    Brillantes admitted he is worried that the next composition of the second division will be unfavorable to their camp, pointing out that “you can see the leanings of these commissioners.”

    To note, the members of the Comelec Second Division are Commissioners Antonio Kho and Socorro Inting, both of whom are appointees of President Duterte.

    According to the former Comelec chief, there is already enough reason to nullify the registration of Duterte Youth since it failed to satisfactorily meet the requirements of the Party-list System Act.

    These include the absence of notices, hearings and publications regarding the group’s accreditation.

    “In my opinion, they have no chance because this is simply unconstitutional. There was no publication. There is that law but it wasn’t followed,” he said.

    In yesterday’s hearing, the camp of Duterte Youth admitted that it did not publish its Petition for Registration, among others, since it was not ordered by the poll body.

    “Party-List was not given direction to publish,” said Duterte Youth Special Counsel Ge Ann Rosales.

    It can be recalled that the Comelec Second Division has already thumbed down Duterte Youth’s Petition to Register as a party-list back in October 2018.

    The group’s Motion for Reconsideration was, however, reversed by the poll body en banc in January 2019, sans any public hearings.