An Waray Party-list files motion for reconsideration after Comelec cancels registration

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, June 6) — An Waray Party-list and former representative Victoria Isabel Noel on Monday filed a motion for reconsideration to reverse the Commission on Elections Second Division's decision to cancel its registration.

The Comelec Second Division on June 2 ruled that An-Waray allowed its second nominee Noel to sit as one of its representatives in the House of Representatives in the 16th Congress, knowing "fully well" that the poll body had not issued a Certificate of Proclamation entitling her to do so.

However, the party-list and Noel argued that there is no sufficient evidence to justify the division's decision.

The respondents cited the disqualification case of Erwin Tulfo as ACT-CIS Party-list representative, wherein the poll body said a separate proclamation of nominees is not required.

"The respondents disagree and submit that a separate proclamation of a specific nominee is not material nor required for the said nominee to take an oath and assume the office of Member of the House of Representatives," the 35-page motion released on Tuesday read.

"Under the law, the party-list group or organization is the candidate and thus, is what being voted in elections," it also said.

Moreover, the respondents also pointed out that the Comelec "has no jurisdiction to pass upon the legality of respondent Victoria's proclamation and assumption as member of the House of Representatives."

Member of the House of Representatives."

An Waray and Noel pointed out that Article 6, Section 17 of the 1987 Constitution states that the House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal (HRET) "shall be the sole judge of all contests relating to the election returns, and qualifications of their members."

The respondents also noted that Noel's assumption as a House member was never questioned even by the then House Speaker.

"Thus, Victoria assumed the position of Member of the House and finished her term in good faith and in compliance with her mandate from the electorate who voted for An Waray Party-List," they said in the motion.

"Since this Petition was filed more than 5 years after the commission of the alleged election offense, it should have been outrightly dismissed by the Honorable Commission," they added.

But Comelec spokesperson Rex Laudiangco on Saturday recognized that HRET has the sole jurisdiction with regards to the membership at the lower chamber.

Laudiangco added the House will be the one to declare the existence of a vacancy and initiate the call to the Comelec to either hold special elections or proclaim the next nominee in line or the next winning party-list to have a seat.