Ex-COMELEC Commissioner Guanzon is the official representative of P3PWD

·Contributor
·2 min read
Former Commission on Elections Commissioner Rowena Guanzon. (Photo: Rowena Guanzon/Facebook)
Former Commission on Elections Commissioner Rowena Guanzon. (Photo: Rowena Guanzon/Facebook)

Retired Commission on Elections (COMELEC) Commissioner Rowena Guanzon will be the official representative of winning party-list Komunidad ng Pamilya, Pasyente at Persons with Disability (P3PWD) in the 19th Congress, after the Comelec en banc approved the withdrawal of the nomination of the five initial nominees.

Acting Comelec Spokesperson Rex Laudiangco confirmed Wednesday (June 15) that upon majority vote of the commissioners, the polling body approved the recommendation of its Law Department to accept the notices of resignation of the party-list’s initial five nominees, and approve its new list of nominees, for which Guanzon is at the top spot.

The original first nominee, Grace Yeneza, reasoned her daughter with cancer as justification for her inability to assume the post. Ira Paulo Pozon, the second nominee, said that he is withdrawing for “personal reasons,” while the fifth nominee, Lily Grace Tiangco, said that she’ll have to assist her husband in his business.

“We made it! Salamat mga anak (Thank you, children)I” Guanzon said in a Facebook post of the news of the approval of the election body of her substitution.

While the period of substitution for party-list nominees has long lapsed on November 15, 2021, while Guanzon was still a COMELEC Commissioner, the hearing of petitions for replacement of nominees will rest entirely on the COMELEC.

“No substitution shall be valid if filed beyond November 15, 2021, unless the list of nominees originally submitted has been exhausted due to death and/or incapacity of the nominees,” the COMELEC resolution, for which Guanzon is also signatory, read.

The original first nominee, Grace Yeneza, reasoned her daughter with cancer as justification for her inability to assume the post. Ira Paulo Pozon, the second nominee, said that he is withdrawing for “personal reasons,” while the fifth nominee, Lily Grace Tiangco, said that she’ll have to assist her husband in his business.

Guanzon, who strongly dissented a similar move by Ronald Cardema in 2019 to officially become the Duterte Youth’s representative in Congress, said in a presser on June 3 that she’s in favor of substitution in party-lists even after the elections.

“If a certificate of proclamation is issued by the COMELEC in favor of the party-list, nobody has a vested right except for the party-list … It is the business of the partylist to decide who their representatives should be,” Guanzon reportedly said.

(UPDATE: Details on the COMELEC's decision granting the withdrawal of the nomination of P3PWD’s five nominees that allowed Guanzon to sit as P3PWD Party-list representative in the first to the fourth paragraphs).

Marvin Joseph Ang is a news and creative writer who follows developments in politics, democracy, and popular culture. He advocates for a free press and national democracy. The views expressed are his own.

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