Sep 29, 2020

City voters seek to join SC petition vs division of Palawan

Regina Palanca, a businesswoman and one of the signatories in a “petition for intervention”, said they want to be part of the petition filed in January last year by members of a civil society group.

Eleven residents of Puerto Princesa have filed a petition before the Supreme Court (SC) in a bid to allow city residents to vote during the plebiscite on the planned division of Palawan.

Regina Palanca, a businesswoman and one of the signatories in a “petition for intervention”, said they want to be part of the petition filed in January last year by members of a civil society group.

The original petition was filed by One Palawan campaigners led by Cynthia Sumagaysay-del Rosario.

The Commission on Election (COMELEC) was set to hold the plebiscite on RA 11259 dividing Palawan into three provinces but this was set aside by the poll body due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Also attached to the petition was an informal petition “Pahayag” signed by more than 1,000 registered Puerto Princesa City voters.

“Tahimik po dati ang Palawan tapos pumasok itong paghahati ng Palawan. Kaming mga botante ng Palawan ay hindi kinunsulta tungkol dito, kaya kami ay nakikialam na ‘wag ituloy ang paghahati,” Palanca said in an online press conference called by One Palawan.

Another petitioner said city residents are “directly affected” by the planned division and should be consulted through the plebiscite.

 

 

“May karapatan tayong bumoto. Bigyan tayo ng boses dito sa plebisito na paparating dahil registered voter tayo at tayo ay apektado sa kung ano ang mangyayari sa ating lalawigan,” petitioner Yolanda Dixon said.

“Ang tanong namin bakit hindi kami kinunsulta, anong mangyayari sa amin kapag nahati ang Palawan,” Pablito Latube, a petitioner from Barangay Langogan, said.

“Sana kinunsulta kami, kahit hindi ako marunong sumulat ng pangalan ko ay may karapatan pa rin kami malaman,” petitioner Basilista Madamay, a member of an indigenous group, said.

Atty. Jansen Jontila, ELAC Environmental Fellow, said they are asking the SC to issue a preliminary injunction and Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) against the planned referendum.

“Itong petition for intervention ay na-file para hilingin sa korte na sila po ay payagan na makialam sa kaso sa paghahati ng Palawan. Ang naunang kaso na nai-file ay ang Prohibition with preliminary injunction and Temporary Restraining Order (TRO), hinihingi din natin na kanilang i-adopt ang argumento na nandoon ba unang kaso na kanilang maging basehan dahil ang mga residente ay direktang apektado sa gagawin na paghahati,” he said.

“Dapat po ay mai-file ang kaso na ito bago magkaroon ng desisyon ang korte. Sa ngayon po ang korte ay wala pang desisyon sa original na kaso kaya ang petition na ito ay pwede pa i-file,” Atty. Regina Bella Dioso, ELAC Environmental Fellow added.

 

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