It's final: Comelec disqualifies Black and White

MANILA, Philippines – Sitting en banc, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) has denied the party-list application of the pro-Aquino group Black and White Political Party, said Comelec Commissioner Lucenito Tagle on Thursday, November 22.

The poll body voted 5-2 against Black and White, according to Comelec Commissioner Rene Sarmiento who explained that Black and White was disqualified due to its lack of track record in upholding the marginalized. Sarmiento also noted that Black and White's members do not belong to the marginalized.

Among the group's prominent members are former singer Leah Navarro and former Tourism Undersecretary Vicente Romano, who both campaigned for President Benigno Aquino III in the 2010 presidential race.

Previously, the Comelec First Division disqualified Black and White on the same grounds.

"There is no problem as to the sectors which Black and White seeks to represent. The petition categorically states that 'the Black and White Political Party is an organized group of women, youth, and urban poor who are committed to ensuring a democratic government that is just and accountable,'" the decision said.

"However, Black and White 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," it added. 

Black and White's disqualification should erase speculations that the Comelec is "yellow" or pro-Aquino, said Comelec Chair Sixto Brillantes Jr in an earlier interview, referring to President Benigno Aquino III's campaign color. (Watch more in the video below.)

But the Comelec received criticism on Tuesday, November 20, after it allowed another pro-Aquino group, Akbayan, to run in 2013. – Rappler.com

Paterno R. Esmaquel II

Paterno R. Esmaquel II is a senior reporter leading Rappler’s coverage of religion and foreign affairs. He finished MA Journalism in Ateneo and MSc Asian Studies (Religions in Plural Societies) at RSIS, Singapore. For story ideas or feedback, email him at pat.esmaquel@rappler.com.

image