Lawyers group seeks changes in Omnibus Election Law

By Mar S. Arguelles


The Omnibus Election Law should be amended or changed as there are provisions in the law that politicians are using as a strategy to gain an advantage over their rivals, mainly referring to the withdrawal and substitution in the electoral process, the Legal Network for Truthful Election (LENTE) said on Wednesday.


Lawyer Ona Caritos, LENTE executive director in a media forum in Legazpi City, said the Omnibus Election Code of 1985 needs to be amended and it’s about time for lawmakers to review and make changes to this over three decades old election law.


She explained that the substitution and withdrawal provisions under the election code make the election process weak as politicians make the process a political strategy to gain ground against their rivals.


She said politicians are making a mockery of the electoral process, making this a symptom of a bigger problem - a defect due to a very weak political party that the country is currently suffering according to her.


Asked to comment on Sen. Bong Go's withdrawal of his certificate of candidacy (COC) as a vice presidential candidate under the PDP-Laban and filed a new COC as presidential candidate of the unheard-of Pederalismo ng Dugong Dakilang Samahan (PDDS), while Pres. Rodrigo Duterte, a PDP-Laban official also quit and together with Sen. Go filed his candidacy for senator, Caritos said that would surely happen when there’s no strong political party that would guide and supervise, and instill discipline to their members.


Under the law, substitutions and withdrawals of COC are allowed between members of the same political party.


Meanwhile, lawyer Calixto Aquino, Director III of the Commission on Election (Comelec) in Bicol announced at the forum that the poll body has registered some 3.9 million registered voters.