30
Mar
07

PEP Coalition Update

I received this update from the PEP Coalition a few days ago.

Today, March 23, 2007, around 4:30 PM, the Board of PEP Coalition learned that its accreditation as party list in the coming May elections was cancelled by the Second Division of the COMELEC. At the time of this posting, the PEP core group still has to issue its official statement. But some initial comments from Vic Ortuoste (PEP’s Finance Head and a party list nominee) are posted here. Updates will be posted here as developments arise.

1. The Second Division of COMELEC disqualified PEP.

Per Vic, it was the FIRST division of the COMELEC which had previously cited that PEP needed to submit Board approval, as well as approval of its members, for its participation as party list in the May 14 elections. It is therefore surprising that the disqualification move comes from the SECOND division and not from the FIRST division. PEP believes that jurisdiction over this case rests with the FIRST DIVISION.

Vic also pointed out that the conditions set by the First Division did not state the deadline for the submission of the requirements. Without a specific deadline, the earliest date that is logical will be March 29, 2007 the date for the last day of filing of nominees. The Second Division in its cancellation of the provisional approval cited the requirements of the First Division. But if the deadline was not defined and since the PEP Coalition believes the earliest date is March 29,2007 then how can PEP’s approval be cancelled. Clearly the Second Division has erred in its logic. It must be pointed out, however, that as early as February 23, 2007, PEP has submitted more than 6,000 signed approvals to participate in the May 2007 election.

2. Vic Ortuoste read part of the resolution as follows: “More importantly, PEP Coalition Party has failed to prove that its members have consented thereto. What it only provides is that the Board of Trustees of Parents Enabling Parents Coalition Inc has ratified such application..”

Per Vic’s reaction, he says this is FALSE! Documentation requirements HAVE BEEN SUBMITTED to the FIRST DIVISION (the division that had cited the lacking documentation). The Board’s approval for PEP to participate has been submitted. Signature forms with members’ approval have also been submitted. For the Second Division to claim that “PEP Coalition failed to show proof…” just shows it was unaware that the Coalition had already complied with the requirements at the First Division.

Vic said that they first submitted last February 23, 2007, 6,000 plus signatures to COMELEC. This was followed by a second submission consisting of over 2,000 signatures (or a total of over 8,000). The signature form (which you are all familiar with and which is posted in this egroup) has the contact numbers of the signatories, which COMELEC can easily verify.

PEP Coalition also believes that the Special Power of Attorney (SPA) executed by its members already gives legal authority to the Board of the PEP Coalition to act on their behalf. The SPA is meant to allow the Coalition to represent the members in all matters relating to their cases as well as to relieve the Coalition from constantly going back to its members for specific approval each time permission was needed. The SPAs, by their very legal nature, should have been proof enough of members’ approval. The submission of the 8,000+ signatures of the members is simply A REITERATION of that initial authority given to the PEP Coalition Board and should be viewed then as more-than-sufficient compliance with COMELEC’s requirements.

Vic further added that the issue of participating as a party list was one of the items discussed in the recent National Assembly last February 2007 attended by a large number of PEP members.

3. The COMELEC resolution was issued late afternoon of Friday, March 23.

It is no longer surprising that Friday late afternoons is the most popular time for coming down with controversial (and sometimes highly irregular) decisions. The approval of the rehab plan by Judge Barza was done late Friday; warrants of arrest issued for the PEP officers and directors stemming from libel cases filed by the Yuchengcos came out on Fridays. Now this.

Vic said that this is clearly another case of harassment by parties who do not wish to see the PEP Coalition in Congress.

WHAT ARE THE NEXT STEPS FROM THE PEP COALITION?

1. A Motion for Reconsideration is going to be prepared.
2. A press conference is being planned by the PEP Core Group early next week to address this recent development.
3. Despite this setback, the PEP Coalition will continue to move as before to bring awareness to the voting public of its participation as party list in the May elections.

HOW SHOULD WE, THE VOTING PUBLIC, REACT?

This disqualification will definitely be fought out by the PEP Coalition. And until final decision is actually handed out,

IT IS ALL SYSTEMS GO FOR PEP AS PARTY LIST IN CONGRESS!!!!

PRESS CONFERENCE
March 26, 2007

First Division Approves PEP accreditation (February 02, 2007) – stating:
“WHEREFORE, premises considered, the instant petition is GRANTED, subject, however, to petitioner’s submission of its representation and proof that its members have been notified of its intention to register and participate under the party-list system and that they have given their consent thereto.”

IMPORTANT POINTS ON ABOVE RESOLUTION:

1. The First Division issued the resolution.
2. NO DEADLINE WAS SET. The First Division did not specify any deadline. In the absence of any deadline, the earliest logical deadline is on March 30, 2007, the deadline for the filing of nominees.

PEP Party List submitted the documents to the COMELEC to comply with the conditions set by the First Division:

1. February 03, 2007 Board of Trustee reiterates consent to apply as party list and to participate in the coming May 14, 2007 election.
2. February 26, 2007(As received by Comelec): Approval of 6,241 members
3. March 06, 2007 (As received by Comelec): Approval of 1,385 members

A total of 7,626 members issued the following statement:
“I hereby reiterate our approval on PEP Coalition’s participation in the coming May 14, 2007 Party List election. This also certifies that I support whatever action the Board may take on my behalf on all matters related to the pursuit of the PEP Coalition’s goals and objectives.”

The Second Division on March 23, 2007 cancelled the registration of PEP Coalition Party List under the Party List System. The crux of its decision rest primarily on this: “More importantly, PEP Coalition Party has failed to prove that its members have consented thereto. What it only provides is that the Board of Trustees of “Parents Enabling Parents Coalition, Inc.” has ratified such application.”

Questions That Deserved To Be Answered:

1. The First Division promulgated the ruling. Shouldn’t the First Division be the Division to set the date on when PEP Party List submit the documents?
2. In the First Division’s resolution, the earliest logical deadline is March 30, 2007. How can the Second Division find PEP Party List guilty of non-compliance in March 23, 2007 when the earliest logical deadline is March 30, 2007?
3. Can the Second Division put words into the mouth of the First Division? Shouldn’t the First Division be the Division to rule on whether PEP Party List has complied with its ruling?
4. Can the Second Division totally disregard the documents submitted by PEP Party List showing that 7,626 members gave its consent for PEP to participate in the coming election?
5. Who is behind ANAD that it is using its resources and time to try and block PEP Party List in its quest to “Fight for Justice and Good Corporate Governance, and strengthen the protection of the Filipino Consumers.”
6. Is it possible that the father of the Security Head of one of the Pre-Need Company that reneged on its commitment is behind this dastardly act?

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