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Ecija group seeks SC help vs disqualification

CABANATUAN CITY—The Nueva Ecija-based Binhi party-list group has asked the Supreme Court to stop the Commission on Elections

(Comelec) from enforcing an order that disqualifies it from participating in the 2013 midterm elections.

In a Dec. 3 petition filed by Binhi lawyer Charita Agdon, Binhi argued that the election body “whimsically and capriciously canceled its registration with a very shallow and very unacceptable reason that it is not among the marginalized and underrepresented” sectors.

The Comelec, in its Nov. 28 resolution, said it found no proof that Binhi represented a marginalized sector of society, although it acknowledged that Binhi “promotes the interests and concerns of peasants, farmers and farm tillers and uplifts their living condition.”

The election body had noted that Binhi was composed of members of  Cabanatuan Seed Growers Cooperative, which is served by the Cooperative Development Authority.

Binhi had asked the Supreme Court to compel the Comelec to retain it in election ballots and paraphernalia that are being prepared for next year’s elections.

“As early as Nov. 19, 2009, Binhi was granted by the respondent, Comelec, the accreditation or registration as a sectoral party representing the peasants, farmers or farm tillers,” Binhi said.

It cited the Comelec resolution that said the registration of Cabanatuan Seed Growers Multipurpose Cooperative under the party-list Binhi: Partido ng mga Magsasaka para sa Magsasaka as a sectoral organization under the party-list system had been approved.

Binhi said its primary mission was “to improve the quality of life of our present and future generation of low-income seed growers, farmers and fisherfolk and to sustain food security nationwide.”

Before its disqualification, Binhi had nominated Ryan Vincent Uy, Pacifico Rico Fajardo Jr., Nelson Villanueva, Victoriano Perez Jr. and Rodolfo Torreda Jr. as its 2013 nominees.

So far, the Comelec has disqualified 178 of 260 party-list groups that filed their papers to participate in the 2013 elections.

Earlier, Comelec Chair Sixto Brillantes said  the election body’s ruling on the 178 disqualified party-list groups is final and may only be overturned by the Supreme Court. Anselmo Roque, Inquirer Central Luzon

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Tags: Binhi , Comelec , Commission on Elections

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