MANILA - The Commission on Elections will "enforce the letter of the law" on party-list substitution, its acting spokesperson said Wednesday.
This, after former Comelec commissioner Rowena Guanzon and Duterte Youth Party-List Rep. Marie Cardema traded barbs over the former's supposed substation for the Pamilya, Pasyente, at Persons with Disabilities (P3PWD) party-list.
The Comelec still has yet to receive any communication or official document for the substitution of P3PWD party-list nominees, according to John Laudiangco.
"I cannot preempt any decision of the commission en banc should any document come from the PWD Party-list. What I ensure of is that this sitting commission en banc will really enforce the letter of the law from the Republic 7941 (Party-list Act) and the existing rules," he told ANC's Headstart.
The decision of the former Comelec en banc to approve Cardema as a nominee after her husband was disqualified past the deadline of substitution would not necessarily be a precedent, Laudiangco said.
"As for precedent, we have to allow this sitting commission en banc to decide on their own. They are not really bound by the decision, it could have an influence on their decision, but they are not really bound by the decision of the previous en banc. We have to separate this," he said.
Guanzon is not among the nominees and the Comelec has not yet proclaimed the winners of the party-list elections but on her Facebook page, the former Comelec commissioner has claimed victory.
In 2019, the Comelec disqualified Duterte Youth first nominee Ronald Cardema for being overaged. He was again nominated by the party-list but later withdrew. The poll body later approved a new set of substitute nominees of the party-list, which included his wife.
Guanzon had largely opposed Cardema's nomination and alleged the latter had threatened her for this.