Ex-Black & White Lacierda mum on Comelec ruling

By Willard Cheng, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 08 2012 03:01 PM | Updated as of Nov 08 2012 11:01 PM

MANILA - Malacañang respects the decision of the Comelec to purge the party-list system of groups that do not represent a marginalized sector.

Presidential spoksperson Edwin Lacierda, however, declined to comment specifically on the delisting of the Black and White Movement, of which he was a former member.

“My personal opinion should not matter for this time. We will leave it with the Comelec. I have always maintained Comelec is a constitutional commission, separate, and independent from the executive branch. They based their decision on the appreciation of their own rules,” Lacierda said on Thursday.

Commission on Elections (Comelec) Chairman Sixto Brillantes yesterday announced that the 1st division, on October 29, ruled to deny the party-list application of the Black and White Movement.

The Black and White Movement (B&W) has among its nominees, MTRCB Member Leah Navarro.

Brillantes said B&W has 5 days from receipt of the resolution to file an appeal, otherwise, the denial becomes final.

The per curiam resolution was handed out by the First Division in a 2-0 vote. Rene Sarmiento and Armando Velasco voted down B&W’s application, 3rd member Christian Robert Lim took no part because he is close to some members of Black and White.

In its ruling, the panel said it was constrained to deny the petition for registration as a regional political party under the party-list system even if the group complied with the requisites of registration as a regional political party in the NCR.

However, it also pointed out that B&W failed to show in its articles of incorporation, by-laws, history and track record that it represents the marginalized sectors of women, urban poor and youth. It pointed out that the group’s primary purpose is to advocate good governance while the by-laws are pro forma. It showed that the track record of the group is also for good governance.

“To us, there is no question that Black and White courageously stood against corruption in government, fearlessly demanded accountability from public officials and zealously advocated good governance in public office," it said.

The ruling also said, “while it may have involved women, urban poor and youth in this advocacy, their involvement is merely incidental to the advocacy for good governance. Black and White failed to mention in its track record its accomplishments pertaining to the women sector. Black and White failed to adduce pieces of evidence to substantiate its claim.”