2022 PH party-list race

In Comelec filing, Rowena Guanzon formalizes party-list substitution bid

Dwight de Leon
In Comelec filing, Rowena Guanzon formalizes party-list substitution bid

POLL EXEC. Supporters join Commission on Elections Commissioner Rowena Guanzon as she speaks to media outside the Manila Cathedral on January 31, 2022, ahead of her retirement and the release of a separate opinion on cases against Ferdinand Marcos Jr.

Rappler

When Rowena Guanzon was still Comelec commissioner, she signed an August 2021 resolution stating November 15 that year was the deadline for substitution of party-list nominees who withdrew from the race

MANILA, Philippines – Former Commission on Elections (Comelec) commissioner Rowena Guanzon made official her congressional aspirations after she filed her papers indicating she is now the first nominee of a winning party-list group, a month after the May 9 polls and six months after the substitution deadline.

In a statement, acting Comelec spokesman Rex Laudiangco said that the poll body received on Tuesday, June 14, the resignation letters of the five original nominees of P3PWD, which secured one seat in the 19th Congress after ranking 24th in the party-list race.

The group also submitted a new certificate of nomination listing a new set of nominees, with Guanzon’s name at the top.

“[This is] subject to the deliberation of the Comelec en banc,” Laudiangco said.

When Guanzon was still Comelec commissioner, she signed an August 2021 resolution which stated that November 15, 2021, was the deadline for substitution of party-list nominees who withdrew from the race.

“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 resolution read.

Here are the reasons why some of the original P3PWD nominees resigned from the group, which subsequently caused the withdrawal of their nominations:

  • 1st nominee Grace Yeneza: to take care of her daughter with cancer
  • 2nd nominee Ira Paulo Pozon: personal reasons
  • 5th nominee Lily Grace Tiangco: assist her husband in his business

If the Comelec allows substitution after the polls, it would raise the specter of a rather complicated scenario: anyone can enter Congress through the substitution method even after the polls are over.

Rappler has reached out to Guanzon, asking how she would respond to criticism that she is circumventing the substitution deadline. We will update this story once she replies.

But in her press conference on June 3, she spoke in favor of substitution bids in the party-list system after the elections.

“November 15 is the deadline for party-list substitution before the elections. Once 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. Therefore, if a certificate of proclamation is submitted to the House, there is now a seat for that winning party-list which is vacant,” she had said. “It is the business of the party-list to decide who their representative should be.” – Rappler.com

Dwight de Leon

Dwight de Leon is a multimedia reporter who covers local government units and the Commission on Elections for Rappler.