COMELEC dismisses disqualification case vs. Makabayan party lists

RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 25 2020 09:16 PM

MANILA - The Commission on Election’s First Division junked a bid to cancel the party list registration of parties comprising the Makabayan Bloc in the House of Representatives and to disqualify former Bayan Muna Rep. Neri Colmenares from the 2019 senatorial race.

In a resolution promulgated last Jan. 30, Comelec Chairman Al Pareno, and Commissioners Rowena Guanzon and Marlon Casquejo dismissed the petition filed by Angela Aguilar against Bayan Muna, Anak Pawis, Kabataan Party List, Alliance of Concerned Teachers Party List, Gabriela Party List and Colmenares.

“The Commission (First Division) is not convinced that Petitioner was able to discharge her burden of proof sufficient to cancel the registration of Party-List respondents or the disqualification of Respondent Colmenares,” the ruling said.

Aguilar cited the following grounds in her petition against the respondents: advocating violence or unlawful means to seek their goal, and violating or failing to comply with laws, rules or regulations relating to elections.

She accused the respondents of being "strongly aligned" with the New People's Army and "possessed of motive to topple the government and the Duterte Administration as manifested in their campaign posters bearing subversive statements such as “Oust D30,” “Patalsikin si D30 Abusado”, and “Patalsikin Pasistang D30.”

The Comelec division said Aguilar, who failed to appear in hearings, did not offer independent proof to corroborate her testimony.

Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Zarate welcomed the poll body’s ruling, saying, “Ito ay talagang harassment case against us."

(This was really a harassment case against us.)

“Make no mistake about it. Hindi namin palalampasin ito. We will also initiate counter-charges against Aguilar and those persons na nasa likod nitong aksyon na ito na sampahan kami ng kaso," he said.

"We will not let this pass. We will also initiate counter-charges against Aguilar and those persons behind that move to file a case against us.)