[Press Release] ATING GURO to file Nomination for Partylist Elections

#HumanRights #Teachers

ATING GURO to file Nomination for Partylist Elections

Teachers’ group ATING GURO Partylist will file its certificate of nomination as well as the individual CONA of its nominees today, October 7.

This despite the Comelec’s initial denial of their petition for accreditation to allow them to participate in next year’s partylist elections. On June 25, the Comelec Second Division dismissed the instant petition filed by the party for two grounds, first that the petition signed by the party’s Public Information Officer (PIO) designated by the party’s governing board as certified by its Chairperson and Secretary-General. And that the party failed to prove that majority of its members belong to the sector it wishes to represent- teachers, active and retired, public and private and their dependents.

The group filed the motion for reconsideration on July 6 and the said division elevated the case to the en banc last July 21. However, the en banc has yet to act on the motion prompting the group to file its candidacy today.

According to Juanito Dona Jr., the group’s Secretary-General and also its First Nominee, they expect the Comelec to act favorably on their motion at least before the scheduled printing of ballots for the 2022 elections.

“There are various concerns that haunt the education sector, particularly the teachers and employees, and thus teachers and educators should be well represented in Congress. This has been our belief since we first participated in party-list elections in year 2013. Unfortunately, we were not given the chance to sit in the House despite a clear electoral victory in 2013 and 2016 elections,” exclaimed Dona, who is also a grade school teacher at St. Scholastica’s College

In 2013 and 2016 elections, Ating Guro Partylist was represented by Benjo Basas, a public school classroom teacher in Caloocan City and a known teacher-leader. According to the party, Ating Guro in those elections was among the parties that won a seat, their name was even published in the program of proclamation for both elections. However, due to an order from the Supreme Court in 2013 preventing the further proclamation of party list winners, ATING GURO and other four parties were considered as ‘parties in waiting.’ And while the first three parties were eventually proclaimed months after the elections, it was not the case for the fourth, ALIF and the fifth, ATING GURO.

In 2016, the group for a second time made it to the winning circle and was included in the program of proclamation gaining, again the last slot. A party representative was present during the proclamation in the PICC, but the Comelec did not call their name and instead gave an additional seat to another party. In both cases, ATING GURO fought a long and painful legal battle that eventually resulted to losses.

“This action also seeks for electoral justice,” Dona concluded.

Other nominees are Raquel D. Castillo of civil society organizations in education sector; Dr. Emelando Arevalo, a retired teacher and education supervisor from Caloocan City; Arsenio Jallorina, retired school principal from Manila and former president of Manila Public School Teachers Association (MPSTA); Addie Unsi from education advocacy groups in BARMM; and Alvin Calamba, a long-time volunteer for the party and a husband to a public school teacher in Las Pinas City.

Dona is expected to file the certificate of nomination and the individual CONAs at 1:00 o’clock in the afternoon. #

Reference:
Juanito Dona, Jr., Secretary-General
0945-2648841

For other details:
Benjo Basas, PIO
0927-3356375

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