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Supreme Court TRO puts Guanzon's party-list plans on hold

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Supreme Court TRO puts Guanzon's party-list plans on hold
Former Comelec Commissioner and now Congresswoman-elect Rowena Guanzon poses for a photo with companions after taking her oath before Court of Appeals Associate Justice Edwin Sorongon on June 23, 2022.
Facebook / P3PWD - Komunidad ng Pamilya, Pasyente at Persons With Disabilities

MANILA, Philippines – Former Commission on Elections Commissioner and now Congresswoman-elect Rowena Guanzon faces another hurdle after the Supreme Court issued a temporary restraining order (TRO) against her, blocking her entry to the House of Representatives.

This comes after the Duterte Youth party-list asked the country’s highest court to review the Commission on Election’s decision to allow Guanzon to substitute as first nominee for a party-list representing PWDs past the substitution deadline. 

She previously said that the petition was “moot” because she already took her oath. 

However, with the TRO, Duterte Youth, Rep. Ducielle Marie Cardema, and Ronald Cardema’s petition puts Guanzon's entry into the House of Representatives on hold until the petition is resolved. The petitioner want Guanzon's substitution declared void.

Acting Comelec spokesman John Rex Laudiangco said the Clerk of the Commission already received the poll body’s copy of the order on Wednesday afternoon.

“We will comply with the TRO and its directive to file Comment. We will seek representation of the OSG po as a matter of procedure,” Laudiangco said.

The House of Representatives, Guanzon, and Comelec would have 10 days to comment on Duterte Youth’s petition. 

Guanzon’s substitution was only made formal on June 14, over a month after the 2022 national elections were held and months after the November 15, 2021 substitution deadline. 

The resignation of the official nominees of P3PWD was granted by the Comelec, sitting en banc, on June 15. It subsequently gave “due course” to the substitution of Guanzon, Rosalie Garcia, Cherrie Belmonte-Lim, Donnabel Tenorio, and Rodolfo Villar.

Duterte Youth and the Cardemas previously flagged the approval of the substitution and said the poll body “exercised its power in an arbitrary or despotic manner so patent and gross as to amount to an evasion of positive duty to enforce and administer election laws.”

To recall, in 2019, then Comelec Commissioner Guanzon also voted against the substitution of Duterte Youth’s Ronald Cardema and effectively blocked him from obtaining a seat in the House. 

She said they “failed to timely file their CONA (Certificate of Nomination and Acceptance)” and that they “do not meet the age requirement… for nominees of the Youth Sector.” — Kaycee Valmonte with report from Jonathan de Santos, TV5 / Greg Gregorio, and The STAR / Robertzon Ramirez and Evelyn Macairan

COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS

DUTERTE YOUTH

ROWENA GUANZON

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