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Comelec finalizes ruling on Duterte wing as official PDP-Laban Party

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Thursday has issued a certificate of finality on its January decision declaring the faction of Partido ng Demokratikong Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) chaired by former President Rodrigo Duterte as the true and official PDP-Laban party.

The poll body was referring to the Comelec en banc resolution favoring the Duterte faction in connection with their petition against the PDP-Laban wing led by Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III and former Senator Emmanuel "Manny" Pacquiao as to which is the legitimate PDP-Laban party.

The Comelec said that both parties were already informed of the January Comelec en banc resolution and that the issuance of a certificate of finality is in order in accordance with Rule 18 of the 1993 Comelec Rules of Procedure providing  that a resolution of the Commission En Banc in special proceedings will become final and executory after 30 days from its promulgation.

“Whereas, no restraining order has been issued by the Supreme Court within 30 days from receipt of the parties of the Resolution that would preclude the 27 January 2023 Resolution of this Commission from being final and executory.  Now therefore, in view of the foregoing, the Resolution of the Commission (En Banc) issued on 27 January 2023 is hereby declared final and executory under the Comelec Rules of Procedure,” the certificate of finality read.

When Comelec en banc upheld Comelec Special Second Division’s May 2022 decision favoring the Duterte wing last January 27, Comelec spokesperson John Rex Laudiangco said then that the en banc “did not find novel issues to be tackled and found no cogent reason to disturb the decision of the Comelec Special Second Division.”

The Comelec Special Second Division said that PDP-Laban Chairman Duterte's chairmanship “is an undisputed and well-settled fact in the aforementioned dates."

"The fact that he presided over the election of the new sets of party officers and committee chairpersons validates the entire process, making the above-enumerated officers as the duly elected officers of PDP-Laban," the Comelec Special Second Division said.

But despite the issuance of the certificate of finality, there's still hope for Pimentel as he already took the battle to the Supreme Court which has yet to resolve his appeal.

“The certificate of finality issued by the Comelec regarding our dispute over the leadership of PDP-Laban is pro forma, automatic announcement based on its practice,” Pimentel said.

“The Comelec cannot, by its pronouncements, deprive the Supreme Court of jurisdiction to review its actions and decisions, especially when they are exposed to be whimsical, capricious, arbitrary or issued with grave abuse of discretion, such as the decision in this case,” he added. —VAL, GMA Integrated News