Comelec Hears Liberal Party Leadership Case
Byline: E. T. SUAREZ
The Commission on Elections (Comelec) tackles at 10 a.m. today the Liberal Party (LP) leadership contest between the party officers headed by Senate President Franklin M. Drilon and those headed by Manila Mayor Jose "Lito" G. Atienza Jr.
The Comelec en banc - now composed of Chairman Benjamin S. Abalos Sr. and Commissioners Resurreccion Z. Borra, Florentino A. Tuason Jr., Romeo A. Brawner and Rene V. Sarmiento - is expected to hear the case in full force. The determination of which of the two groups are legitimate officers could be crucial to the 60-year-old political party, said officials of the poll body.
At present, the LP is also the only political party with two sets of officers. The original officers, headed by Drilon, have called for the resignation of President Arroyo, while the newly elected group led by Atienza has declared its support to the President and her administration.
The Comelec en banc has also to determine whether it has jurisdiction over the LP leadership contest.
In an 11-page petition, lawyer Alberto C. Agra, arguing on behalf of the LP officers headed by Drilon, said that the Comelec has jurisdiction over the case as he cited the Supreme Court decisions on the cases of Laban ng Demokratikong Pilipino vs Comelec, Kalaw vs Comelec, and Santos vs Comelec, including disputes on party identity, party standard bearer and party leadership. …