Comelec remains strict in accrediting new party-list groups: Abas

Philippine News Agency
February 23, 2021

PARTY-LIST ASSESSMENT. Commission on Elections (Comelec) Chairman Sheriff Abas discusses preparation for the 2022 elections during the virtual Laging Handa forum on Tuesday (Feb. 23, 2021). Abas assured strict assessment will be done in accrediting new party-list groups after delisting 39 for being inactive and failing to win in the last two elections. (Screengrab from PCOO Laging Handa)

MANILA – Commission on Elections (Comelec) Chairman Sheriff Abas on Tuesday said the commission will remain strict in scrutinizing the new party-list applicants before they will be accredited for the upcoming 2022 national and local elections.

“Doon naman sa kung hindi sila [party-list groups] marginalized, hinihimay po talaga ng Comelec iyan at hindi po basta-basta kaming nag-a-approve o nag-a-accredit ng mga party-list (On the issue if they are not marginalized, the Comelec really scrutinize them and we don’t just approve or accredit party list),” Abas said in the virtual Laging Handa forum.

Abas said the Comelec has actually approved only 20 percent of the party-list applicants in the last two elections in 2016 and 2019.

“As of last election, we have 160 party-list accredited and allowed to run and out of 160, 39 have been delisted recently, for two reasons: first, they did not win in the last two elections and second, they are inactive. So out of 160 minus 39 so we only have 121 accredited party-list,” he said.

He said the poll body is now accepting applications for accreditation in connection with the May 9, 2022 national and local elections.

“We are open to accepting new applications for accreditation or reaccreditation,” he said.

Meanwhile, he said the Comelec is hoping to issue guidelines and protocols for the election campaign before the last quarter of the year.

“The process regarding the guidelines on the campaign is ongoing. We are studying it thoroughly, the protocols from canvassing, filing, counting among others. Maybe before the end or last quarter of this year,” he added.

He said reports that the Comelec is planning to ban face-to-face election campaign was “just opinion” of other officials.

“But as to the official policy of the Comelec, wala pa po tayong inilalabas (we have not yet released guidelines),” Abas said. (PNA)

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