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8 party-list groups get Supreme Court reprieve

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INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

Not four but eight party-list groups, including the one led by ex-convict Romeo Jalosjos Jr., which were earlier barred by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) from taking part in next year’s election, got a reprieve from the Supreme Court.

This developed as the Comelec disqualified 10 more party-list organizations claiming to represent government employees, farmers, migrant workers and orphans.

One of them was a group supposedly created by Efraim Genuino, former chairman of Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor) who faces charges involving irregularities at the state-run casino operator.

But the poll body allowed a group representing Filipino nurses—Ang Nars Inc.—to take part in the May elections.

The Supreme Court en banc on Wednesday released a resolution requiring the Comelec and eight party-list groups to “observe the status quo prevailing” before the poll body issued the resolutions against them.

Kapatiran ng mga Nakakulong ng Walang Sala Inc. of Jalosjos and three others joined Ako Bicol, Association of Philippine Electric Cooperatives, 1st Consumers Alliance for Rural Energy Inc. and Alliance for Rural Concerns, which the media reported on Tuesday got a reprieve from the high court.

The three others were Aksyon Magsasaka-Partido Tinig ng Masa, Alliance for Rural and Agrarian Reconstruction Inc. and Association for Righteousness Advocacy on Leadership Party-List.

In resolutions it issued on Oct. 10, 11, 16 and 24, the poll body canceled the party-list groups’ registration for various reasons, including  not being qualified to represent the marginalized sectors and their questionable nominees. They were barred from taking part in the 2013 elections.

In its decision, the high court en banc said it adopted a resolution the other day that sought the consolidation of the petitions of the eight party-list groups and required the Comelec to comment on the petitions within a “nonextendible” period of 10 days from notice.

The party-list groups sought relief from the Supreme Court, saying the poll body had committed grave abuse of discretion for disqualifying them.

Ang Nars Inc. identified its nominees as Leah Primitiva Samaco-Paquiz, Lydia Palaypay, Chris Sorongon, Caridad Galban and Anna Marie Acorda-Kapunan.

“They are marginalized professionals [and] all of their nominees are marginalized,” Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr. said in an interview with reporters.

He said the group was composed of nurses, including the nominees, who have yet to be employed or those who have chosen to stay in the Philippines.

“They represent nurses who are unemployed and also those who are making a sacrifice by staying in the country instead of working abroad,” Brillantes said.

Last week, the Comelec announced that the group Pilipinos with Disabilities was the first official candidate for the party-list elections next year.

Of the 10 party-list groups it disqualified yesterday, two were among those the poll body accredited for the 2010 elections—Action Brotherhood for Active Dreamers Inc. and Abot Tanaw, the group identified with Genuino.

Abot Tanaw claimed to represent overseas Filipino workers and operate social media services to keep migrant workers in touch with their families in the Philippines.

Genuino son-in-law

In a document submitted earlier to the Comelec, poll watchdog Kontra Daya noted that Genuino’s son-in-law, Gerwin See, was named the first nominee of Abot Tanaw in the 2010 elections. The others were said to be Pagcor consultants. But the group failed to win a seat in the previous balloting.

Other groups that failed to get Comelec accreditation were Guardian, Hukbong Querubin Humanitarian Team Inc., Ikaw ang Laging Wagi ng Bayan Inc., Samahang Ilocanong Magsasaka, Aangat Ahon Magsasaka, Guardians of Orphans and Disabled, Una Edukasyon and Courage Government Employees Party-list (Courage).

Hukbong Querubin listed Jose Martin Loon, stepson of former Marine Col. Ariel Querubin, as one of its nominees.

Courage said the Comelec “seriously erred and committed grave abuse of authority” in denying its accreditation as a party-list organization.

“It perplexes us to no end on how they can claim that government employees are not marginalized and therefore do not deserve to have a representative in Congress,” the group said.

Multimillionaires

The Comelec ruling on Wednesday brought to 79 the number of organizations delisted from the 2013 elections. Brillantes said the Comelec en banc was still looking at some 50 more groups up for disqualification.

The election body started purging the list of 265 groups in September as part of its effort to cleanse the party-list system of sham groups and nominees who are either multimillionaires, relatives of government officials and members of powerful political clans.

The review of groups hoping to participate in next year’s elections was being conducted in light of the Constitution provision on the party-list system, the Party-list System Act and jurisprudence, according to the Comelec.

The election body was also strictly implementing the guidelines enumerated in the Ang Bagong Bayani v. Comelec case.

The decision, written by former Chief Justice Artemio Panganiban, issued guidelines to ensure that only those who belong to marginalized and underrepresented sectors—labor, peasant, fisherfolk, urban poor, indigenous cultural communities, elderly, handicapped, women, youth, veterans, overseas workers, professionals and the LGBTs—can run for party-list seats in Congress.

The guidelines said that the political party or sector must represent the marginalized and underrepresented groups identified in the Constitution and that the party or organization must not be “an adjunct of” or a “project organized or an entity funded or assisted by the government.”

It also said that the nominee of a party must represent the marginalized and underrepresented sectors.

Ruling on Akbayan

Brillantes also announced Wednesday that the en banc, composed of him and six election commissioners, had decided on the fate of Akbayan. But he refused to elaborate pending the signing of a formal resolution on the voting.

“We just voted on it… we already have a majority but I won’t preempt [the resolution],” he told reporters.  “I am not sure if the vote was 4-3 or 5-2 but I am not announcing what is our decision.”

Akbayan faces two disqualification complaints in the Comelec.


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Tags: 2013 midterm elections , Comelec , Congress , Party-list System , Politics , Supreme Court


  • freaksmoker

    Brillantes himself admitted that the constitution does not provide what is meant by the word “marginalized” so the Comelec’s decision to bar other party list groupsd does not hold water that is why his detractors are accusing him of having questionable mental faculties. Take the case of the Nurse’s Party List which he accredited to participate in the elections. Is he sending a clear message that all professions can create a party list group? Is so then why did he barred the security guards group instead of allowing the security guards to elect a credible poor figure head to replace Mikey Arroyo? Unless a law is passed providing a strict definition for the word “marginalized” or defining the minimum requisites then all party list groups must be allowed to run. Or we might as well amend the constitution and do away with the regular district representatives and retain permanent party list groups. I think the people will welcome this amendment to do away with perennial pork-eating-alligators in Congress.

  • moshki

    …Hukbong Querubin Humanitarian Team Inc…

    …WTH is Querubin…

  • Hey_Dudes

    Why elect and why must we be represented by anyone whom we do not know if it is truly our interest they care about?  I think it would be better to open congress door and let everyone represent oneself!  Mura na wala pang pork barrel funding?  Kalokohan na ang umiiral sa ating kongresso dispatchahin na ang lahat.

  • Lapu Lapu

    Can we expect a flip-flopping decision before the election?

  • Fulpol

    stop this madness…

    the sector of agriculture can create hundred party list group.. just that one sector.. a farmer’s group in each region, a farmer’s group for sugar cane, and other crops, a farmer’s group on organic farming, a farmer’s group on highlands and so on…

    abolish the party list system before it will caused extensive division and anarchy in the society.. 

    • DOUANE

      These party list groups are very repetitive, too.

  • lapasan

    So the people who would like to have representation as party list groups are the likes of Jalosjos and Genuino? Therefore, the party list is just used by trapos and influential person as tool to expand political dynasty and to gain more power and influence. How about those party list groups that are fronts of other politicians and religious groups? Are there any? This party list is just a waste of people’s money. Their representatives are redundant in congress anyway. Their job can be done by regular congressman. It would be better for the country to get rid of this system. Comprising 20% of total all congressmen is a significant number and big expenses for the taxpayers. A regular congress can make do by creating committees on labor, peasants, etc. There is really no need of these party list group. It is just making our congress look like a circus.

  • Manolo Villareal

    Party-list opportunists multiplied like mushrooms during thunderous rainy days in the terms of GMA as our president.  Now it seems so difficult to eradicate them. If Comelec can not maintain its stand before the SC in the oral or written arguments, the only way to eradicate these vultures feasting on people’s money is not to vote any party-list during election time.  ZERO VOTES TO PARTY-LISTS should be our advocacy.  The country can save P4 billion in terms of pork barrel alone if there are no party-list reps.  The laws passed by congress will be in the same quality even without them anyway because they do not participate at all in crafting laws.

  • captainramius

    SCJ Sereno… I thought you were the right choice  but what is this you are making a failed experiment more messier than ever!~!!!

    This system copied from Germany by our misguided academicians and crafted by our idealists but clueless constitutionalists who are out of tune of the prevailing culture of the voters and opportunists politicians has been nothing but one uncontrolled MONSTER !!

    If you read the history and law of this Party List systems… it seems this was carelessly done without proper and long debate and research… there was no proper definition of what is marginalised… the amending law with no less an Ex SCJ admitted is confusing with a math problem to solve before it can be understood…

    SONOFAGUN WE ARE A COUNTRY OF LAWYERS look what is happening to us at the expense of taxpayers.

  • captainramius

    I give it to Brilliantes.. this party list is really one big joke .

    We have a party list of electric cooperatives , What ?
    AKO Bicol, representing what , the Bicolanos ?  What happened to their district congressmen ?

    ABOLISH NYO NA ITONG KALOKOHAN NA ITO AT ONE BIG FARCE.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_NPV7TOHIJPG3UMTLQDTHLQJR7Y Jack

    Ang Nars Inc., “They are marginalized professionals [and] all of their nominees are marginalized,” Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr. said in an interview with reporters.
    anak ng teteng, kung ikaw ay isang marginalized, hindi ka makapagtatapos ng nursing kung wala kang pera pangtustos sa pag-aaral mo

  • TwiggyRamirez

    …haha! this SC is a one BIG joke! ibigay na lang lahat ng trabaho at obligasyon ng Comelec sa SC, tutal sa kanila din pala ang huling desisyon. mas okay din kung tanggalin na totally ang partylist system. walang kwenta ang mga yan. obvious na Pork Barrel lang ang hinahabol ng mga ‘to.

  • kilabot

    tanggalin lahat ng prosti-list. walang ginawa ang mga eto maliban sa magkalat ng mikrobyo. anim lang ang pwedeng maiwan:
    1) rightist                     – advocating family/military dictatorship (palparan group, anad..);
    2) leftist                       – advocating communist dictatorship (trillanes matahari, bayan..);
    3) separatist                 – advocating dismemberment of the country (milf..);
    4) environmentalist        - advocating protection of environment (agham..);
    5) handicapped             – advocating empowerment of handicapped (pwd..);
    6) pimps, prostis & lgbt – representing red district practitioners and perverts (ladlad, bukaka..);

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/M3LQ4MUAU3Z36MIQGIGSOKBCQE Rosauro

      ANAD is anti-communist. Its members are marginalized because most of them, poor folks in the poor villages, are victims of the Left because they forcibly collect from them revolutionary taxes. If BAYAN is for communism, why prevent ANAD to oppose the former’s end?

  • captainramius

    PWEDE BA MGA PARTY LIST ANO BA NAGAWA NYO NA WILL JUSTIFY YOUR EXISTENCE WALA AKO NAKITA MGA TAONG BAYAN NAG AALBUROTO TO SUPPORT YOU EXCEPT ANG MAINGAY KAYO MISMO DAHIL MAWALA NA NEGOSYO NYO DI BA ? PORK BARREL. 

    ANG TUTUO KASI DUPLICATION LANG ANG EXISTENCE NYO SA CONGRESS …. SO MGA GRUPO NG NURSES KAILANGAN BA MAY PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE DYAN PARA SA GRUPO NA ITO … ANO NAMAN ANG MASABI NILA SAY SA AWAY NG PINAS AT CHINA … O SA CORRUPTION SA GOBYERNO…

    ANAK NG PATULA PWEDE BA ABOLISH NA ITO PARA SIMPLE NA LANG AT MA SAVE ANG PERA NAMIN ???

  • KarlosRegaza

    ABOLISH COMELEC! 

    • MindfulofToday

      Pag tanga nga nman…

      • KarlosRegaza

        ABOLISH MINDFULOFTODAY!

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/M3LQ4MUAU3Z36MIQGIGSOKBCQE Rosauro

     ANAD is anti-communist. Its members are marginalized because most of
    them, poor folks in the poor villages, are victims of the Left because
    they forcibly collect from them revolutionary taxes. If BAYAN is for
    communism, why prevent ANAD to oppose the former’s end?



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