Candidacy filing for 2019 polls moved to Oct. 11-17

THE COMMISSION on Elections (Comelec) announced on Wednesday that dates for the filing of certificate of candidacy(COC) for next year’s national and local elections have been moved to Oct. 11-17.
Comelec Spokesperson James B. Jimenez said in his Twitter account: “The COMELEC en banc has authorized the re-scheduling of the filing of certificate of candidacies for the #2019NLE, to October 11-17, 2018, excluding Saturday and Sunday.”
Mr. Jimenez also said that on the last days, there will be no extension for the filing hours.
The original dates for filing of the COCs were Oct. 1 to 8.
Earlier this week, the House of Representatives and the Senate issued House Concurrent Resolution No. 20, which orders the Comelec to move the filing of COCs to the second week of October to give Congress time to discuss the 2019 National Budget.
Comelec Commissioner Rowena V. Guanzon told reporters yesterday that despite the postponement, they’ll still be able to finish the final list of candidates on Dec. 15, “provided that (the Comelec) will have more people and will have more computers, which the commission en banc approved.”
“The law department (of the Comelec) must have a final list of candidates (by Dec. 15) because that will have to be printed in the ballots,” she explained.
For his part, House Majority Floor Leader Rolando G. Andaya Jr. said in a phone message to reporters, “We, in the House of Representatives, commend the COMELEC for acceding to our request for the re-scheduling of the COC filing period. Now, we can buckle down to work and focus on deliberating the priority legislative measures of the President without the distractions of electoral campaign.”
The lawmaker added, “We expect more productive sessions ahead, with the end in view of completing our task before the election campaign period commences in October.” — Gillian M. Cortez

De Vera-led group asks Supreme Court to settle House minority bloc issue

THE MINORITY group led by ABS Party-list Rep. Eugene Michael B. de Vera has filed a petition before the Supreme Court, seeking to be recognized as the duly constituted Minority bloc in the House of Representatives.
In their 44-page petition, dated Aug. 29, the solons also asked the country’s highest court to issue a temporary restraining order (TRO) against Quezon Rep. Danilo E. Suarez to “cease and desist from performing the duties and functions of the Minority Leader.”
The petition was filed by Mr. de Vera; Davao del Norte Rep. Pantaleon D. Alvarez, the former House speaker; and Ilocos Norte Rep. Rodolfo C. Fariñas, former majority leader; among others.
The case stemmed from the conflict among factions within the chamber that claimed the Suarez-led minority stripped themselves of their minority position after voting in favor of Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo as the new speaker.
Majority Leader Rolando G. Andaya, Jr., who was among the respondents, said that while the petition has been filed, the chamber will continue with its work under the present set-up.
“We recognize and respect their right to seek redress from the Supreme Court. The House leadership will continue with the business of the day under the present organizational set-up. We have a full docket of bills to be passed,” Mr. Andaya said in a statement on Wednesday.
“We enjoin all House members to focus on our legislative work before the onset of the election campaign period,” he added. — Charmaine A. Tadalan