MANILA — The Commission on Elections (Comelec) is set to discuss on Tuesday the proper procedure with respect to the filing of pleadings and documents in the Supreme Court (SC).
According to Comelec Chairman Juan Andres Bautista, they will deliberate on the protocol in submitting documents before the High Court.
“’Yun ang tatalakayin bukas, ‘yung protocol and procedure in respect of the filing of pleadings and documents in the SC,” he said in a press briefing on Monday after the public consultation on the Implementing Rules and Regulation for Republic Act No. 9006 or the Fair Elections Act.
Likewise, the poll body chief said they will also discuss the validity of the comment filed by Commissioner Rowena Guanzon last Thursday before the SC that triggered the “word war” between Bautista and the Comelec’s lone woman commissioner.
“Again, pag-uusapan ‘yan bukas,” Bautista added.
Asked if he considers the statement of Guanzon posted on her Twitter account as her reply to his memorandum, Bautista said, “I assume yes. Although kasi nga, she came up with her own reply. I saw a copy of the statement…We will submit that to the Comelec en banc tomorrow, let’s see what the Comelec en banc will do…”
Bautista said that Guanzon was tasked together with the Comelec Law Department to create a draft comment for the three petitions filed by former Senator Francisco Tatad, former University of the East Law Dean Amado Valdez and De La Salle University Professor Antonio Contreras against Senator Grace Poe.
“During our January 5 meeting, Commissioner Guanzon was tasked together with the Law Department to create a draft for the three petitions – Contreras, Tatad and Valdez — and Commissioner Art Lim who was requested by the en banc to draft a comment for the petition of Atty. Estrella Elamparo, again together with assistance of the Law Department,” he explained.
The Contreras, Tatad, and Valdez petitions were first handled by the Comelec First Division, where Guanzon is a member while the petition of Elamparo was initially decided by the Second Division, wherein Lim is a member.
On the other hand, Bautista said it is not proper to say that the Comelec is in disarray, but he admitted that there was a miscommunication in the process of filing.
“I also wanted to say, projecting the Comelec in this array I think is not accurate. Meron lang hindi pagkakaunawaan tungkol sa process ng pag-file kung kaya’t gusto nating i-clear or linawin sa aming en banc meeting bukas,” he added.
With this, the poll body chief is optimistic that the incident will bring positive effect on the commission.
“Sa akin ding palagay — ang pangyayaring ito ay pagkakataon para mapalakas ang Comelec,” he said.
The conflict between Bautista and Guanzon arose when the former issued a memorandum ordering the latter to explain why she submitted the comment on the consolidated disqualification case of Poe before the SC without allowing him to review the document.
On the other hand, the lady commissioner said she had the approval of the Commission en banc when she filed the comment with the SC last week. Ferdinand G. Patinio/PNA / northboundasia.com