SC halts Guanzon party-list bid

Evelyn Macairan - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — The Supreme Court (SC) has issued a temporary restraining order (TRO) stopping the bid of the P3PWD party-list to substitute Rowena Guanzon as its first nominee.

Commission on Elections acting spokesman John Rex Laudiangco confirmed that the Comelec’s clerk received a copy of the TRO yesterday afternoon.

He said the poll body would comply with the TRO and its directive to file a comment.

“We will seek representation of the Office of the Solicitor General as a matter of procedure,” Laudiangco added.

In the three-page TRO, the SC said its order is effective immediately and continuing until further orders from the court.

The SC also required the Comelec, House of Representatives and the P3PWD party-list to submit their comment on the petition within 10 days from notice of receipt.

The Comelec was also directed to furnish the SC within five days from notice a copy of the resolution approving the questioned substitution.

The TRO was issued after Duterte Youth party-list chairman Ronald Gian Carlo Cardema and his wife Rep. Ducielle Marie filed a petition on June 21 asking the SC to stop Guanzon from occupying a seat in the House, claiming there was an illegal substitution of nominees for the P3PWD party-list.

The Cardemas also asked the High Court to issue a preliminary injunction to direct the Comelec to refrain from issuing a certificate of proclamation to the substituting nominees led by Guanzon, and for the House to refrain from allowing Guanzon and the substituting nominees to allegedly illegally become members of the House while the petition is pending at the SC.

They also asked the SC to grant their petition to annul the Comelec resolution that approved the substitution of P3PWD’s nominees.

They claimed that there were clear violations of the Comelec’s promulgated rules on party-list substitution, the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act and the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees, especially by Guanzon, who served as a Comelec commissioner from 2015 until Feb. 2.

They alleged that Guazon benefited when she was with the body that approved her own party-list’s petition for substitution.

They also questioned why the Comelec en banc, which is supposed to be composed of seven members, voted with only four commissioners, with a vote of 3-1.

The P3PWD filed its certificates of nomination in October 2021.

However, on June 14, all of the original nominees of P3PWD resigned. The group filed the certificates of nomination for its new set of nominees, including Guanzon, that same day.

The next day, the Comelec en banc approved the substitution, subject to compliance with the publication requirement.

On June 23, Guanzon took her oath as P3PWD party-list representative.

Guanzon has yet to issue a statement on the TRO.

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