MANILA - The one-year appointment ban on losing candidates applies to the actual party-list and not to its nominees, the Commission on Elections spokesman said Monday.
Comelec Spokesman James Jimenez said a Comelec resolution provided that the one-year ban on losing candidates does not apply to party-list nominees.
"Ang pinagbasehan ko lang, may resolution kami na nagsasabi na ang kandidato sa isang party-list election ay 'yung party-list mismo, hindi 'yung nominee. So 'yun po 'yung naging reasoning ng Comelec," he said in a radio DZMM interview.
"Baka naunahan ko lang ng banggit. Baka merong mga changes that I might have not been informed of yet but as of now, ang position ng Comelec, based on published utterances ng Comelec, 'yung na-promulgate na, 'yun na nga, hindi siya covered," Jimenez added.
Jimenez also said the ban on the appointment of losing candidates does not specifically mention party-list nominees.
"Looking at the law itself, the law does not make specific mention of the party-list so we're going by the nature of the party-list system. And again, by the nature of the party-list system, napapalitan po 'yan. They don't run on their own account," he explained.
The issue of the appointment ban on losing candidates arose following the appointment of former Communications Assistant Secretary Mocha Uson as the new Deputy Executive Director of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration.
Uson was among the celebrities that heavily campaigned for Duterte in 2016. She was later appointed communications assistant secretary in May 2017 but resigned last year after a string of gaffes and controversies.
She ran as first nominee of the AA Kasosyo party-list, which Uson said aims to help Filipinos, particularly overseas workers, become successful entrepreneurs. The party-list group failed to win a seat in the May 2019 polls.
Uson was also part of President Rodrigo Duterte's delegation to Russia.
Jimenez said the Comelec en banc may discuss the issue should there be complaints filed against Uson's appointment.
Comelec Commissioner Rowena Guanzon earlier said she will propose the inclusion of losing party-list group nominees to the appointment ban.