Philippines Report

SC stops Guanzon substitution as P3PWD Party-list rep

SC stops Guanzon substitution as P3PWD Party-list rep

The Supreme Court (SC) issued a temporary restraining order (TRO) against the implementation of the Commission on Elections’ (Comelec) decision approving the substitution of the original nominees of P3PWD Partylist led by former Comelec commissioner Rowena Amelia Guanzon.

In a four-page resolution dated June 29,2002 and promulgated by Clerk of Court Marife Lomibao-Cuevas, the SC En Banc required the respondents, Comelec, House of Representatives and Guanzon to comment on the petition filed by Duterte Youth Party-List Rep. Ducielle Marie Cardema and National Youth Commission Chairman Ronald Gian Carlo Cardema within 10 days from notice.

“Whereas, considering the allegations contained, the issues raised and arguments adduced in the petition, without necessarily giving due course to the petition, it is necessary and proper to [issue a TRO,]” the court stated.

The SC said the TRO is “effective immediately and continuing until further orders from this court, enjoining [Comelec] from implementing its assailed resolution [and] issuing a Certificate of Proclamation to the substituting nominees [and the House] from allowing Guanzon and the other substituting nominees to assume office as member of the [House] during the pendency of [the case”.

“The Comelec shall likewise furnish the court with a duplicate original and certified true copy of its assailed resolution within five (5) days from notice hereof,” the resolution read.

In their petition, the Cardemas alleged that Guanzon misrepresented herself as the nominee of the P3PWD during the campaign period, adding that she should be stopped by the SC.

Cardema cited the Comelec Rules which states that “Any Comelec approval of substitution is not valid unless the list of new nominees is published in two newspapers of general circulation.”

The P3PWD Partylist argued that it submitted proof of publication last June 17, 2022, citing its appearance on June 15 and June 17.

June 27 is the last day in the prescribed period of filing against Guanzon at the Comelec.

However, Cardema countered that the publication requirement was not fully complied with.

“Their June 15 (Wed) publication was printed ahead of the June 15 Comelec En Banc Resolution to approve substitution. If their list was published/appeared in the newspaper on June 15, clearly it was paid/printed in the newspaper on the night of June 14 and is therefore not compliant with (a future order) of the Comelec later on the daytime of June 15,” Cardema said.

“Second, in her Certificate of Acceptance of Nomination, Rowena Guanzon stated Under Oath that ‘I am eligible, I possess all the legal qualifications, and none of the disqualifications provided bylaw.’ This is clearly material misrepresentation and lying Under Oath[,],” he added.

Cardema further argued that Guanzon, who substituted in a partylist regulated and approved by her collegial body just four months and two weeks after retirement, where she will now gain financial or material interest, “is clearly a violation of these two legal hallmarks against graft, corruption, and abuse of public office”.

Meanwhile, Guanzon has filed libel and unjust vexation charges against the National Youth Commission chairman before the Quezon City Prosecutor’s Office.

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