Ako Bicol points to 1.5M voters vs DQ rulingPhilippine Daily Inquirer
A representative of the partylist group Ako Bicol (AKB) said the group, which had been disqualified by the Commission on Elections (Comelec), is pinning its hope on the Supreme Court for a ruling overturning the Comelec decision.
The court is on recess and will hold an en banc hearing on the AKB petition for a temporary restraining order (TRO) against the Comelec decision on November 13.
In a statement, AKB said the Comelec decision to disqualify the group from partylist elections next year effectively disenfranchises more than 1.5 million voters who cast their ballots for AKB in the 2010 elections.
Lawyer Alfredo Molo, AKB legal counsel and a University of the Philippines law professor, said the Constitution is clear about party-list elections being “free and open.”
“Indeed, the Comelec did not only assume powers it does not have by passing on the qualifications of petitioner AKB, it also exercised the powers arbitrarily,” Molo said in the statement.
The Comelec, he said, “in effect disenfranchised the overwhelming mandate of 1,522,986 voters of AKB during the 2010 elections.”
“They don’t have the power to do that. The Comelec cannot take away their right to vote,” he said. AKB, he said, would fight for this right of the voters.
AKB topped the partylist elections in May 2010 and earned three seats in the House of Representatives now occupied by Representatives Rodel Batocabe, Christopher Co and Garbin.
In an 86-page petition, AKB asked the high tribunal to issue a TRO against the Comelec decision to disqualify the partylist group in next year’s elections. Mar Arguelles, Inquirer Southern Luzon