De-listed OFW group holds 'funeral' in Comelec, calls for Melo's dismissal
ANDREO C. CALONZO, GMANews.TV
10 Overseas Filipino worker (OFW) group Migrante International on Friday held a “funeral march" in front of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) office in Manila to protest anew a decision de-listing them as an accredited party-list group.
While slamming the Comelec's decision, Migrante International says they won't back down in representing some 10 million overseas Filipino workers in Congress. Charlie Magno file photo
All dressed in black and carrying a fake coffin, about 50 members of Migrante stormed the Comelec office during the first day of filing of certificates of candidacy (COC) to call for the immediate dismissal of Comelec chairperson Jose Melo.
The Comelec in an en banc decision earlier ruled that Migrante and 24 other groups can no longer participate in next year’s party-list race next year for failing to get two percent of the total party-list votes cast in the last two elections. [See: Comelec delists 25 party-list groups]
The group said the Comelec denied them due process when it junked this month a verified opposition the OFW group filed last October without calling any hearing for Migrante to defend their side.
Migrante chairperson Connie Bragas-Regalado cited Section 6 of the Party-list System Act which gives the Comelec the power to dismiss verified complaints only “after due notice and hearing."
“Malinaw na binalasubas ng Comelec ang batas na ito. Hindi nila kami binigyan ng due process (The Comelec clearly violated this law. They did not give us due process)," she said.
Regalado maintained that the Comelec has no basis in disqualifying her group, since Migrante only participated in the 2004 elections and not in the 2007 polls.
But Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez said the commission was correct in disqualifying Migrante, since the group did not satisfy the requirements for accreditation.
“Migrante clearly did not satisfy the requirements for accreditation. Besides, they are not the only group that represent the needs of the OFWs," Jimenez said in an interview with reporters.
Regalado said Migrante plans to file before the Supreme Court a temporary restraining order against the resolution de-listing them as an accredited party-list group. - GMANews.TV