Liberal Party still considering Robredo as presidential bet in 2022 polls

Robie de Guzman   •   February 4, 2021   •   477

MANILA, Philippines – Vice President Leni Robredo is among those being considered by the Liberal Party to run as its presidential candidate in the 2022 elections, the political party’s president said on Thursday.

Senator Francis Pangilinan, however, stressed that the party has yet to finalize its decision on the matter.

“Siya ay mataas na opisyal ng partido at pinakamataas na elected official ng partido so she (Robredo) is also being considered,” he said.

Robredo serves as Liberal Party’s chairperson being the highest elected official in the party.

“But she herself has said na wala siyang desisyon, marami pang pwedeng mangyari. But in the meantime, we just focus on how we can help address this pandemic and the economic crisis,” he added.

Pangilinan also said that political issues “can wait” as the country grapples with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Earlier this week, supporters of Robredo launched an online petition urging her to run for president in the upcoming elections.

The petition called “I am ready for Leni” aims to gather 25,000 signatories.

Robredo has yet to issue a comment on the campaign initiated by her supporters but she has earlier said that it is too early to talk about 2022 polls and that she would rather focus on projects providing assistance for those affected by the pandemic. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Harlene Delgado)

SC releases copy of decision on Marcos’ electoral protest

Aileen Cerrudo   •   April 20, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Supreme Court (SC) has released a copy of its decision junking the electoral protest filed by former Senator Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos against Vice President Leni Robredo.

Based on the 91-page decision of the SC Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET), Marcos’ “allegations appeared bare, laden with generic and repetitious allegations and lacked critical information.”

It also junked the third cause of action of the electoral protest which is the annulment of elections in three provinces: Maguindanao, Lanao Del Sur, and Basilan.

After the recount, Robredo got a total of 14,436,337 votes, while Marcos got 14,157,771 total votes.

Last February, the SC dismissed Marcos’ electoral protest; however, the former Senator said it does not include their third cause of action.

According to the tribunal, Marcos also failed to prove there was an anomaly during the elections and that Robredo was behind it. AAC (with reports from Dante Amento)

Gatchalian pushes for tax exemption of teachers’ poll honoraria anew ahead of 2022 polls

Robie de Guzman   •   April 9, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Senator Sherwin Gatchalian on Friday renewed his push for tax exemption on the honoraria, travel allowance, and other benefits granted to poll workers in the upcoming May 2022 elections.

Gatchalian said his proposal is contained in Senate Bill 1193 which he filed in 2019.

The bill seeks to further amend Section 32 of Republic Act No. 8424 or the National Internal Revenue Code of 1997, as amended, so that poll workers can receive the full amount of their honoraria, travel allowance, and other benefits.

The measure also seeks to exclude poll workers’ honoraria and allowances from gross income. A five percent tax is currently imposed on poll workers’ election honoraria.

“Maliban sa pagpapatuloy ng edukasyon sa gitna ng pandemya, ang ating mga guro, opisyal, at kawani ng mga pampublikong paaralan ay nagsisilbing frontliners upang matiyak ang maayos at malinis na halalan,” Gatchalian said in a statement.

“Hindi biro ang trabaho nila mula sa preparasyon hanggang sa bilangan ng mga balota. Kaya maituturing natin itong isang paraan ng pasasalamat para sa kanilang dedikasyon at sakripisyo,” he added.

Under the Election Service Reform Act (Republic Act No. 10756), the chairpersons of electoral boards are each entitled to receive P6,000.

Members of electoral boards receive P5,000 each, Department of Education Supervisor Officials (DESO) receive P4,000 each, while support staff receives P2,000 each.

Gatchalian pointed out that poll workers’ honoraria and allowances are subject to income tax if their annual taxable income exceeds the P250,000 threshold under the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Law. Those earning below P250,000 have to submit a declaration of tax exemptions.

In the explanatory note of his bill, the senator stressed that giving poll workers, especially public school teachers, the full amount of their election allowances is “the best way we can show them our gratitude and appreciation for ensuring clean, honest, and orderly elections in the country.”

This will also encourage and reward volunteerism in the country’s election process, he added.

E-filing of petitions, political party registration to continue amid ECQ in NCR Plus – Comelec

Robie de Guzman   •   March 29, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Commission on Elections (COMELEC) announced it will continue to accept online filing of petitions for registration of party-list organizations and political parties despite the re-imposition of enhanced community quarantine in the National Capital Region (NCR) and neighboring provinces.

Under Resolution 10673, COMELEC said it will continue receiving, via e-mail, petitions, verified pleadings, memoranda, comments, briefs, and other submissions in PDF format.

“With the rapidly approaching March 31, 2021 deadline for the filing of petitions for registration of party-list organizations and the submission of manifestations of intent to participate, we expect a massive influx of petitions in the coming week,” COMELEC spokesman James Jimenez said in a statement on Sunday

He also said that e-mails sent to the address clerkofthecommission@comelec.gov.ph and received by the 5 p.m. deadline will be considered filed on time.”

“The payment of docket fees and other legal fees for the petition for registration of party-list organizations also need to be done on or before March 31, 2021,” Jimenez emphasized.

After filing through e-mail, the poll body said that the filing party shall send, through the fastest means available, hard copies of all petitions, pleadings, and other submissions, with complete annexes in four hard copies.

Proof of payment of the required fees, deposits, and fines, if any, should also be submitted.

The NCR and four nearby provinces of Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal have been placed under ECQ from March 29 to April 4 to curb the recent surge in COVID-19 cases.

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