Hearing on Lakas-Kampi merger set on Sept.17
Posted August 13, 2009on:
By Anna Valmero
First Posted 12:19:00 08/13/2009
Filed Under: Politics, Eleksyon 2010, Elections
MANILA, Philippines—The poll body asked former House Speaker Jose De Venecia Jr. to present evidence on his petition seeking to nullify the accreditation of the merger of Lakas-CMD and Kampi into one national political party for the 2010 elections.
The three-way merger earlier this year consolidates the administration parties Lakas ng Tao-National Union of Christian Democrats (Lakas-NUCD), United Christian Muslims Democrats (Lakas-CMD), and the Kabalikat ng Malayang Pilipino (Kampi).
Comelec Commissioner Nicodemo Ferrer on Thursday said that the Second Division en banc will only allow a one-day hearing on the case on September 17; a ruling will be made after.
“There is no need to prolong the hearing. It is only a simple case. In fact, it was up for resolution but we aimed to consolidate the petition filed by De Venecia with the petition for the accreditation of the merger since they are related,” said Ferrer, who is also the presiding officer of the Second Division handling the case.
Lawyer Amado Valdez, counsel for De Venecia, listed Gabriel Caludio and Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita as hostile witnesses, De Venecia as principal witness, and two minor witnesses, both from Lakas-CMD.
Lawyer Ma. Bernadette Sardillo, counsel for the respondents said De Venecia submitted a late opposition, a day after the Second Division announced that the case is submitted for resolution.
“Their idea of presenting Ermita and Claudio, who are among the respondents, is irregular. As for the allegations relating this merger to Cha-cha, that is external to the case because we only seek accreditation and we have complied with all requirements,” said Sardillo.
In his 20-page petition submitted to the Comelec on July 21, De Venecia argued that: “There was no national assembly for the decision to merge Lakas with Kampi. There was no formal convention of all leaders nationwide but only a very informal gathering on March 10.”
Aside from Ermita and Claudio, other respondents in the petition include President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, House Speaker Prospero Nograles, Interior Secretary Ronaldo Puno, and Representative Pablo Garcia, among others.