By Leslie Ann Quino
Petitioners seeking to cancel the registration of the Duterte Youth party-list urged the Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Wednesday to speed up the resolution of their case.
Poll lawyer Sixto Brillantes Jr., one of the counsels of the petitioners, said the Comelec Second Division should decide on the matter in view of the upcoming retirement of two poll commissioners next year.
“On February 2, Commissioners (Luie) Guia and (Al) Parreno will already retire…hopefully, we can finish this,” he said in an interview after attending the hearing on their petition at the Comelec office in Intramuros, Manila.
“That’s why we want them to speed it up…by Feb. 2 Comm. Guia is no longer here. He won’t be able to vote anymore,” Brillantes said. “I think its Comm. Guia who understands this.”
Guia is the presiding commissioner of the Second Division with commissioners Antonio Kho and Socorro Inting as members.
Earlier, the petitioners Reeya Beatrice Magtalas, Abigail Aleli Tan, Raainah Punzalan, and Aunell Ross Angcos claimed there are grounds for the cancellation of Duterte Youth’s registration, including making untruthful statements in its petition, particularly on the eligibility of its nominees; it has no bona fide intention to represent the sector for which the petition has been filed; it advocated violence or unlawful means to achieve its goal; that it was adjunct of or an entity funded or assisted by the government, specifically, of the National Youth Commission (NYC); it violates or fails to comply with law, rules, or regulations relating to elections; and the petition has been filed to put the election process in mockery or disrepute.
“Wherefore, it is respectfully prayed of this Honorable Commission that after due notice and hearing, to declare respondent Duterte Youth’s registration as void ab initio for not having complied with the mandatory jurisdictional requirements of publication and public hearing and to cancel/nullify/undo all its effects,” the petitioners said.
“Or, in the alternative, to cancel respondent Duterte Youth’s registration as youth sectoral party for committing grounds for cancellation under Rule 2 Section 3 in relation to Section 2 of Comelec Resolution No. 9366,” they added.