GPPM-NA/USA Commends PH SC stops Comelec FilAm bashing : Stops implementing ban on overseas campaigning

For Immediate Release
April 20, 2016

GPPM-NA/USA Commends PH SC stops Comelec FilAm bashing : Stops implementing ban on overseas campaigning

Los AngelesGood News for FilAms in North America

Grace Poe

The GPPM-USA Convenor Arturo P. Garcia is extremely elated over the decision of the Supreme Court, in its last summer session for the year, partially granted a petition from Filipino-American Loida Nicolas-Lewis .

The PH Supreme Court, by issuing a temporary restraining order against portions of the laws on overseas absentee voting and a Commission on Elections (Comelec) resolution banning the practice of partisan political activity abroad during the overseas voting period.

FilAm Bashing

FilAm4GPGarcia said, “this ruling affirms that the COMELEC is partial and is biased towards Filams and OFW abroad by stifling their freedoms.

This kind of FilAm bashing was practiced by the COMELEC on Senator Grace Poe. Luckily the Supreme Court intervened, saw the lights and saved the day for us”

Garcia added, “The Grace Poe For President Movement in North America and USA is joyful that Overseas Filipinos all over the world for now can continue campaigning for their preferred national candidates in the May 2016 elections despite the ongoing overseas absentee voting.”

Through the TRO, the SC “enjoined the Comelec, its deputies and other related instrumentalities from implementing the following: (i) Section 36.8 of Republic Act No. 9189, as amended by RA 10590; and (ii) Section 74 (II) (8) and other related provisions of Comelec resolution No. 10035.”

On to the May 9 Campaign in the US

The high court, however, clarified that,” overseas Filipinos are prohibited from campaigning and conducting partisan political activities within Philippine Embassies, Consulates, and other posts where overseas voters may exercise their right to vote pursuant to the Overseas Absentee Voting System..”

In her petition, she said while the contested provisions reflected the spirit behind the Omnibus Election Code, “the manner by which this is to be carried out fails to consider the unique context of overseas absentee voting, thereby resulting in the undue curtailment of the most cherished rights of freedom of speech and expression, and of information.”

The petitioner said,” the contested provisions prejudiced not only her right to freedom of expression, but also of others in future cases involving the information and education of the electorate. ”

Nicolas-Lewis said,” the contested provisions particularly violated Articles 1 and 4 of the Philippine Constitution, on due process and equal protection of laws, and freedom of speech, expression and assembly. She also stressed that there is no criminal jurisdiction over Filipinos abroad.

The petitioner said rules on campaigning abroad should be more relaxed than that in the Philippines.”



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