May 8 party-list registration deadline

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PARTY-LIST organizations, coalitions and new political parties have only until Friday to file their registration and manifestation of intent to participate in the 2016 national and local elections, according to the Commission on Elections (Comelec).

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Comelec Commissioner Luie Tito Guia on Wednesday said an early deadline is necessary to give the poll body ample time go over the entire process of review, approval and disapproval and other election-related requisites.

Guia added that it would also allow political parties, party-list groups and their nominees more time to reflect, decide and plan their political participation.

A senior commissioner, he explained that the poll body has also so many other things to do, particularly the conduct of two public biddings for acquisition of some 100,000 counting machines that would be used in next year’s national elections.

Comelec Resolution 9366 promulgated on February 21, 2012, states, “Organized groups not yet registered with the Commission on Elections may file a petition for registration under the party-list system. An organized group already registered need not register anew. However, it shall file with the commission a manifestation of intent to participate in the party-list elections . . .”

Only organized groups duly registered with the Comelec and which have manifested their desire to participate in the party-list elections may participate in the Party-list System of Representation in the House of Representatives, the Comelec said.

Earlier, the commission en banc approved Resolution 9932, which delisted and canceled the registration of 39 party-list organizations for failure to obtain a seat or obtain at least two percent of the votes cast for the part-list system for two consecutive elections.

The Comelec, in the same resolution, also ruled that automatic review of accredited party-list groups or organizations whose registrations are retained shall not be implemented for the 2016 national and local elections.

It said the ruling “is without prejudice to the failure of the retained party-list groups or organizations to file a manifestation of intent to participate in the 2016 National and Local Elections, and to the filing of any petitions for cancelation or disqualification against any party, organization or coalition and/or its nominees for the 2016 National and Local Elections.”

Under Republic Act 7941 or the Party-list System Law, the Comelec may remove or cancel the registration of a party-list group if it fails to participate in the last two preceding elections or fails to obtain at least two percentum of the votes cast under the party-list system in the two preceding elections for the constituency in which it has registered.

A party-list group may also be removed if it is a religious sect or denomination, organization or association organized for religious purposes; if it advocates violence or unlawful means to seek its goal, if it is a foreign party or organization; if it is receiving support from any foreign political party, foundation, organization, whether directly or though any of its officers or members or indirectly through third parties for partisan elections purposes;

If it violates or fails to comply with laws, rules or regulations relating to elections, if it declares untruthful statements in its petition; and if it has ceased to exist for at least one year.

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