SC asked to cite Comelec execs in contempt

Posted at 01/20/14 7:41 PM

MANILA -- The Senior Citizens' party-list wants the Supreme Court to cite in contempt Commission on Elections (Comelec) Chairman Sixto Brillantes and Commissioners Lucenito Tagle and Elias Yusoph after the poll body failed to proclaim the group as winner in the 2013 party list elections.

The group also wants the High Court to stop a Comelec order remanding the case to a Regional Trial Court to settle the matter on the legality of the warring factions of the group.

Senior Citizens party-list Rep. Godofredo Arquiza said he is wondering why the Comelec could not pinpoint who among the warring groups are legitimate, since their faction already submitted legitimate documents while their rival group has been found by the Comelec to have submitted fabricated documents.

Their rival group is led by Francisco Datol Jr.

Arquiza noted that on January 13, the Comelec ruled to defer the party's proclamation until an RTC resolves the matter of the rival groups. This, even if the Supreme Court already ordered the Comelec to proclaim as winner the Senior Citizens' party list.

Arquiza is the group's 1st nominee, while 2nd nominee is Mila Magsaysay.

Magsaysay said the Comelec already found Datol's group to have submitted fake documents, prompting her to also wonder why the poll body still cannot decide who is the legitimate faction.

Both Arquiza and Magsaysay have noted that Datol is not a member of the party.

Datol's alleged attempt to amend the group's papers at the Securities and Exchange Commission was also rejected by the SEC.

Arquiza said, "Yung resolution ng Comelec maraming salungat. Sa RTC ang tagal nang tapos iyan. Magfa-file kami ng supplemental."

Arquiza blames Brillantes, Tagle and Yusoph for what has happened.

"Sila ang masigasig eh, dahil may pre-condition that they'll proclaim me kung mag-agree ako... Kailangan mag-resign muna lahat ng nasa likod ko. Yung Datul ang gusto nilang sumunod sa akin. That's against the law," he said, referring to an apparent compromise agreement offered by the poll body.

House Speaker Sonny Belmonte, meanwhile, is backing the proclamation of the Senior Citizens' group.

"If there is any sector which requires a voice in the chamber, I would say that's the senior citizens," he said.

Belmonte said he won't kick out Arquiza, who continues to hold office at the Batasan even if he and his party are yet unproclaimed.

Belmonte said Arquiza is not receiving any salary anyway.