Comelec excludes 13 new applicants from listBy Fat Reyes
MANILA, Philippines – Thirteen new applicants who were “mistakenly” included in the poll body’s first ever raffle for partylist slots were formally excluded in the list Monday.
In Resolution 9604 released Monday morning, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) ruled that the following partylist groups would be excluded from the list as “they were not able to secure Mandatory Injunction” from the Supreme Court (SC).
(The list includes the partylist and their corresponding slots):
Ako An Bisaya Party (AAB) – 16
Alagad ng Sining (ASIN) – 24
Alab ng Mamamahayag (ALAM) – 34
Association of Guard, Utility Helper, Aider, Rider, Driver/Domestic Helper, Janitor, Agent, and Nanny of the Philippines, Inc.
(GUARDJAN) – 36
Abyan Ilonggo (ABYAN ILONGGO) – 41
Alliance of Organizations, Networks and Associations of the Philippines, Inc. (ALONA) – 45
Partido ng Bayan and Bida (PBB) – 47
Pilipinas Para sa Pinoy (PPP) – 63
1 Alliance Advocating Autonomy Party – (1AAAP) – 69
Kalikasan Party-list (KALIKASAN) – 80
Akbay Kalusugan (AKIN) – 83
Manila Teachers Savings and Loan Association, Inc. (MANILA TEACHERS) – 101
Association of Local Athletics Entrepreneurs and Hobbyists, Inc. (ALA-EH) – 102
On Friday, the Comelec held a raffle to determine how 136 partylist groups would appear on the ballot—a first in the country’s 15-year-old party-list system.
Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr had earlier said that the raffle was conducted to avoid “abnormal names” of partylist groups with too many “A” and “1.”
Shortly after the raffle, however, the poll body found out that 13 groups were inadvertently included contrary to Comelec resolution 9591 which states that disqualified new applicants would only be included in the raffle if they obtained a mandatory injunction from the SC, which would prevent them from being disqualified in next year’s elections.
Comelec Commissioner Rene Sarmiento, in the interview Monday morning, said that the committee formed to preside over the raffle relied on the resolution of the SC but that in reading the resolution, they were not able to distinguish which groups were new applicants and which were existing.
Sarmiento clarified that the slots left vacant by excluded partylist groups would be reserved for those groups who will be able to obtain Status Quo Ante Order or Mandatory Injunction to be filled in as the poll body “may deem fit.”
The resolution released Monday also said that in case the slots are not filled by other groups able to obtain relief from the SC, the numbers corresponding to the slots would be excluded from the list.
Sarmiento also urged the SC to immediately resolve the petitions of all the groups seeking relief after the Comelec en banc decided to drop them from the coming elections for their failure to comply with the law governing the partylist system.
He said the election body was hoping that these petitions would be resolved before the start of the printing of the ballots and the configuration of the precinct count optical scan machines set this Thursday.
Sarmiento noted that the poll body would meet to tackle final adjustments on the sequencing of the ballots after the SC rules on the pending petitions of concerned party-lists.
“We received information that the SC will have an en banc meeting tomorrow (Tuesday) and all decisions regarding the partylists will come out… This will help us with the sequencing…the SC is aware of our deadlines,” Sarmiento said.
“All decisions should come in on or before January 10 so that the poll body would be guided properly,” he added.
Sarmiento noted that if the SC issues mandatory injunction in favor of any of the 13 new applicants earlier disqualified before the target date for the configuration of machines, “that would mean they retain their slots based on the raffle last Friday.”
“If by tomorrow (Tuesday) a decision is handed disqualifying those not in the thirteen, so that would mean another adjustment. But there will be no vacant spaces in between slots in the ballots,” Sarmiento added.
Sarmiento gave as an example the case of 1st Consumers Alliance for Rural Energy Inc. (1-CARE), which got the top slot for the party-list groups in the official ballot of the May 2013 polls based on the raffle.
The group of electric consumers was earlier disqualified by the poll body but it was able to secure a status quo ante order from the SC which then made it eligible for the raffle.
“If the disqualification is upheld by the high tribunal, magiging bakante ang number one (number one would be vacant) slot….it’s either that the number two will move up if we deem it fit or there is no more number one, the number two will occupy the first slot in the ballot,” Sarmiento said.
Sarmiento however clarified that these were options being considered by the poll body and they would have to meet and address this issue for finality.