The Commission on Elections en banc on Thursday rejected the bid of the Duterte Youth party-list to stop the substitution of former poll commissioner Rowena Guanzon as the first nominee of the P3PWD party-list.
Acting Comelec spokesperson John Rex Laudiangco said the commission approved the recommendation of its law department to deny the June 17 verified opposition filed by Duterte Youth.
In another development, the poll body proclaimed Thursday reelectionist Romeo Jalosjos Jr. as the winning congressional candidate for the first district of Zamboanga del Norte.
Based on Zamboanga del Norte 1st district’s Certificate of Canvass results, Jalosjos originally garnered 69,109 votes from Dapitan City, and the municipalities of La Libertad, Mutia, Piñan, Polanco, Rizal, Sergio Osmeña Sr., and Sibutad. He placed second behind Roberto “Pinpin” Uy Jr. with 69,591 votes.
The Comelec, however, decided to “legally pass” to the reelectionist lawmaker the 5,424 votes obtained by Frederico Jalosjos, who was declared a nuisance candidate. With the votes combined, Jalosjos got a total of 74,533 votes, winning over Uy by 4,942 votes.
In Guanzon’s favor, Laudiangco cited the following grounds:
• Resolution 10717 provides for the rules prior to elections and not post-elections;
• Consistent with the 2019 case of Duterte Youth, the Commission enbanc gave due course to withdrawals, substitutions, and submission of a new list of nominees after the elections; and
• Sections 8 and 16 of Party-List System Act allow the submission of additional nominees when the list of nominees had been exhausted.
Laudiangco also said the commission noted the compliance of P3PWD to the publication requirements. The new list of nominees was publishedby Topline News Publication on June 15 and People’s Balita on June 17.
The Duterte Youth party-list, led by National Youth Commission chairperson Ronald Cardema and his wife Rep. Ducielle Cardema, filed a case last Monday against Guanzon in the Supreme Court to stop her substitution.
The party-list cited the following reasons: Violation of Comelec rules on the deadline of substitution; Violation of the Graft & Corrupt Practices Act; and Violation of the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards of Public Officials and Employees.
The Cardemas said P3PWD filed its new substitution documents way beyond the Comelec substitution deadline of Nov. 15, 2021, in cases of voluntary withdrawal, and beyond the added Comelec substitution deadline of May 9, 2022, election day, in rare cases of death or incapacity. Guanzon, as a poll commissioner in 2019, blocked Cardema’s own substitution bid on similar grounds.
Romulo Macalintal, Jalosjos’ election lawyer, explained that Frederico was declared a nuisance candidate by the Comelec for using an alias quite like Romeo.
On Comelec’s website, Frederico was named “Kuya Jan Jalosjos.” Romeo, on the other hand, has been using the alias “Kuya Jon.”
“It was proven that Frederico has no real intention of running but only to mess with Romeo’s votes because they both have the last name and nickname. Based on the Supreme Court’s decision, when the other person who has the same name was declared a nuisance candidate, his votes will be counted for the legitimate candidate,” Macalintal told GMA News Online.
In a Facebook post, Romeo expressed his gratitude to those who supported him in the 2022 elections, saying that the real “Kuya Jon” shares his victory with the people of the district.