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Comelec recognizes Pimentel group as legitimate, official reps of PDP-Laban

The Commission on Elections has recognized the group of Senator Aquilino Pimentel III as the legitimate representatives of the ruling Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan.

In a five-page resolution, the Comelec declared that the sworn information update statement and list of authorized signatories filed by Pimentel as the “legitimate and official” SIUS and LIAS of PDP-Laban for the May 13, 2019 national and local elections.

The poll body made the decision after it received two sets of SUIS and list of authorized signatories filed by the group of Pimentel and Rogelio Garcia for and on behalf of the political party.

Pimentel is the president of PDP-Laban while Garcia claimed that he was elected president of the party in a national assembly held in Quezon City in July

The Comelec then set a hearing to discuss the issue and asked both parties to file their respective comments.

The Pimentel group, in its comment, pointed out the defects and irregularities in the documents filed by Garcia’s group and that they are not bonafide members of PDP-Laban and not authorized to file the documents.

Garcia’s group, on the other hand, said they were comprised of legitimate set of officers elected during the national assembly.

The poll body took judicial notice on the fact that Pimentel's group has been the same set of officers and authorized to submit the documents since 2016. It added Comelec has not ruled against the said set of officers.

“In view of the foregoing, the Commission still maintains its recognition of the officers of Pimentel group as PDP-Laban. Consequently, the SIUS and list of authorized signatories filed by the Pimentel group are the legitimate and official SIUS and list of authorized signatories of PDP-Laban for the May 13, 2019 national and local elections,” it said.

Koko elated

Pimentel lauded the decision of the poll body.

“I am happy that the true leadership of PDP Laban has been recognized and preserved by the Comelec,” he said.

He added the implication of the Comelec ruling is that all “nominations” which come from a group which is not his group or properly authorized by PDP Laban through him, would be “unauthorized and illegitimate.”

“Hence, they cannot be considered by the Comelec as PDP Laban official candidates and they should also not present themselves to the electorate as such! If they continue to do so then they are deceiving the electorate,” said the senator.

Folk singer and composer Freddie Aguilar filed his certificate of candidacy under the group of Garcia.

Pimentel said the logic of the Comelec is it has been recognizing who the PDP Laban leaders are for years already and if these people are to be changed then change them properly or in accordance with the party constitution.

“A power grab even if covered by media cannot officially change the leadership of a polical party from the point of view of the Comelec because rules have to be followed. Otherwise we become a banana republic,” he said. — RSJ, GMA News