Group asks Comelec to void Duterte Youth’s registration

MANILA A group of petitioners on Tuesday asked the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to cancel the registration of Duterte Youth party-list for allegedly committing several violations.

"Wherefore, it is respectfully prayed of this Honorable Commission that after due notice and hearing, to declare respondent Duterte Youth's registration as void ab initio [from the beginning] for not having complied with the mandatory jurisdictional requirements of publication and public hearing and to cancel/nullify/undo all its effects," Reeya Beatrice Magtalas, Abigail Aleli Tan, Raainah Punzalan and Aunell Ross Angcos said in their petition.

The petition added that the Duterte Youth failed to meet the requirements which include the publication and hearing in the decision of the Commission en banc to grant the group's motion for reconsideration of their petition's dismissal by the Comelec Second Division.

"That respondent Duterte Youth is exceptionally and unusually the only party-list organization since the institution of the party-list system of election in 1995 to have been granted registration even without the publication and hearing requirements," it said.

"This question of the legality of the accreditation of Respondents is crucial as once granted would mean that its registration would be void ab initio. That it is as if it never registered with the Comelec and/or its petition for registration was never granted," it added.

Lawyer Emil Maranon, counsel for the petitioners, said if their petition is granted, the Duterte Youth would not have been eligible to participate in the May 13, 2019 polls.

The petitioners also asked for the cancellation of the group's accreditation as a party-list organization for committing several violations of Comelec rules.

Among them are the eligibility of its nominees, and the lack of intention to represent the sector for which the petition has been filed despite being a youth sectoral organization.

The petitioners also alleged that Duterte Youth's petition has been filed to put the election process in mockery by arranging a wave of merry-go-round of nominees.

The Duterte Youth won a seat in Congress after garnering over 350,000 votes in the May 2019 polls. (PNA)

Source: Philippines News Agency