Comelec drops 13 party-list groups from May ballotBy Jocelyn R. Uy
Philippine Daily Inquirer
The Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Monday formally removed from its roster 13 party-list groups that were erroneously included in last week’s raffle of slots on the May ballot, but opted to leave the vacated slots open temporarily.
In a resolution promulgated Monday, the Comelec en banc said it had excluded from the ballot the 13 groups, classified as “new applicants,” that failed to obtain a mandatory injunction from the Supreme Court.
A mandatory injunction would have stopped the election agency from disqualifying the groups from the May 13 balloting.
Taken off the ballot were Ako An Bisaya (AAB); Alagad ng Sining (Asin); Alab ng Mamahayag (Alam); Association of Guard, Utility Helper, Aider, Rider, Driver/Domestic Helper, Janitor, Agent and Nanny of the Philippines Inc. (Guardjan); Abyan Ilonggo; Alliance of Organizations, Networks and Associations of the Philippines (Alona); Partido ng Bayan and Bida (PBB); Pilipinas Para sa Pinoy (PPP); 1-Alliance Advocating Autonomy Part (1AAP); Kalikasan; Akbay Kalusugan (Akin); Manila Teachers Savings and Loans Association (Manila Teachers), and the Association of Local Athletics, Entrepreneurs and Hobbyists (Ala-Eh).
Although these groups were able to secure a status quo ante order from the Supreme Court, Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr. earlier explained that such an order would only allow them to remain as new applicants and not as accredited party-list groups eligible for the May 13 election.
As for the vacated slots, the Comelec said these would be “reserved” in the meantime but could be “excluded” entirely if not filled in time for the printing of the ballots.
“The commission resolves to reserve the slots left vacant by the excluded party-list groups for those that will be able to obtain a status quo ante order or mandatory injunction (from the Supreme Court),” the resolution stated.
An earlier Comelec resolution stated that disqualified new applicants could only be included from the official ballot if they obtained a mandatory injunction from the high tribunal. Meanwhile, existing but disqualified party-list groups only needed a status quo ante order to qualify for the elections.
On Friday, the Comelec held a raffle to determine in what order the more than 120 party-list groups would appear on the ballot, a first in the country’s 15-year-old party-list system.