Press Release
January 3, 2022

Dispatch from Crame No. 1197:
Sen. Leila M. de Lima on the Cusi faction's Petition to re-open filing of COCs

The petition of the PDP Laban-Cusi Wing to open anew the period for filing COCs reeks of privilege.

The so-called dominant majority party, but without standard bearer candidates for President and Vice President, is basically asking for the exclusive privilege to be exempted from the deadline for filing COCs, after all candidates serious enough to run for election in 2022 have dutifully filed their COCs within the deadline set by the COMELEC. There should be no exemptions from this deadline, not even for the party of the President.

The petition uses as an excuse the pending petitions for the disqualification of Marcos, Jr. as well as the appeals for accreditation of party list groups. The Cusi petition claims that until all these cases are resolved, COMELEC should not print ballots for the 2022 Elections, and thus it should open the period for filing COCs again.

Taken to the extreme, if COMELEC has to wait for all disqualification and accreditation cases to reach final judgment, no ballots will ever be printed on time for election day. This is because most of these cases usually remain unsettled beyond election day. Besides, the filing of new COCs will again generate another slew of petitions for disqualification. Is Cusi saying we should as well wait for all those cases to be resolved, ad infinitum?

To therefore ask COMELEC to condition the printing of ballots on the final resolution of disqualification cases hews dangerously close to a "no election" scenario.

Maybe this is what the Cusi Wing wants all along, for elections to be postponed indefinitely until they get their act together. The holding of constitutionally-mandated elections cannot be left to the inability of any political party to field standard bearers on time. That would be subjecting democratic elections to the whims and caprices of incompetent party leadership. Cusi and the leadership of PDP-Laban have no one else to blame but themselves. The whole country and its democratic exercises should not bear to suffer the failings of this so-called party of the majority.

Access the handwritten copy of Dispatch from Crame No. 1197:

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