Speaker Feliciano Belmonte, Jr., a senior citizen, has urged the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to reverse its ruling disqualifying the Senior Citizens party-list from the 2013 polls.
The Senior Citizens party-list, an incumbent House member, was one of top 14 vote-getters in the 2013 elections with at least 550,000 votes, but the group was not proclaimed by the Comelec because of its disqualification. With 550,000 votes, the Senior Citizens would have retained its two House seats.
“It is unfair and unjust for the Comelec to disqualify the Senior Citizens its rightful representation merely on the ground that it submitted a term-sharing agreement for two sets of nominees,” the 76-year-old Belmonte said in a statement.
The two sets of nominees, Belmonte said, could easily be resolved because the Comelec can proclaim the Senior Citizens as winners and require it to submit a new list of nominees.
Further, Belmonte underscored that the senior citizens sector constitute about 17 percent of the country’s population, figure which certainly deserves to be represented in Congress as a marginalized sector.
“The party and the sector it represents should not suffer for whatever unlawful agreements were entered into by its nominees. The decision of the Comelec is tantamount to a denial of the sector’s right to be represented in the House which they secured in the last elections,” Belmonte added.