‘Nuisance’ bets take case to Supreme Court

Christian V. Esguerra, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 18 2018 06:12 PM

MANILA—Twelve senatorial aspirants have asked the Supreme Court to stop the Commission on Elections (Comelec) from declaring them as “nuisance” candidates, insisting that they do not intend to put the 2019 midterm polls in “mockery or disrepute.”

The candidates, running under the Katipunan Party, complained that the commission did not conduct any hearing to determine if indeed they lacked the financial capability to run a nationwide campaign — a common ground cited in “nuisance” petitions.

Katipunan’s entire senatorial slate, led by Conrado "Ding" Generoso, was included in the list of 95 aspirants, who the commission’s law department had sought to declare as “nuisance.”

Generoso, who served as spokesman of the Malacañang committee that drafted a proposed federal constitution, said a legitimate candidacy should not be measured by financial capability alone.

“Lack of resources, or not having resources equal to the resources of the more moneyed candidates, does not mean you intend to put the election in mockery or to put it in disrepute,” he told ABS-CBN News.

Generoso said his group was promoting federalism, including a ban on political dynasties and party-switching, “so that we can move from a politics of personalities to a politics of platform and programs of government.”

“If that is being a nuisance, then perhaps we are being a nuisance to those who want to just maintain the status quo because they just want to cling on to power and they want to be the rulers of this country forever and ever,” he said.

In the petition filed last Dec. 14, the group said treating its senatorial candidates as “nuisance” would cause “irreparable injury to the legitimacy and credibility if the party.”

The petitioners noted that should the Comelec reject the party’s certificate of nomination and acceptance or CONA, their candidates would be considered as “independent.”

They said the commission was “laying the predicate” to classify them as a “nuisance who “individually have no popular gravitas and means to wage a national campaign.”

Comelec spokesman James Jimenez earlier admitted the poll body was still resolving “complex legal issues” raised by aspirants included in the law department’s “nuisance” list.