Presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda on Thursday said he respects the Commission on Elections’ (Comelec) decision to exclude his former group, the Black and White Movement, from its roster of party-lists.
“My personal opinion should not matter for this time. We will leave it with the Comelec,” Lacierda said at a press briefing in Malacañang.
“I have always maintained [that] Comelec is a constitutional commission, separate and independent from the executive branch. They based their decision on the appreciation of their own rules,” he added.
On Wednesday, Comelec chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr. said Black and White Movement "fails to evidently show through its articles of incorporation, by-laws, history and track record that it represents and seeks to uplift the marginalized sectors of women, youth and urban poor."
Commissioner Rene Sarmiento, head of the Comelec's First Division, said that “the group is more of an advocacy group than a party-list.”
Black and White has five days to appeal the resolution.
Lacierda said despite this, he still believes in the principles forwarded by the Black and White Movement.
“I do believe, however, since I’m a former member of the Black and White, I know the principles that it stands for. But, as to its disqualification, that’s another matter,” he said.
Meanwhile, Lacierda also said the Malacañang fully supports Congress’ move to define what makes a certain sector marginalized.
“It’s within their jurisdiction to come up with amendments to the law itself. And, for that reason, they may take up matters which would require amending the law,” he said.
However, Lacierda also said the administration will being keeping its distance regarding the inquiry. “As to the specifics of the comments of Senator Pimentel, we will leave it with the legislators to decide.”
Senator Koko Pimentel earlier said his committee will create a panel to define who or what are marginalized among party-list representations. — Patricia Denise Chiu/KBK, GMA News