Bicol group backs SC rule on partylist polls

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LEGAZPI CITY—Rep. Alfredo Garbin of the Ako Bicol Party-list (AKB) welcomed the move of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to formally resolve the issue of seven partylist groups having two sets of nominees as his party mates, in a statement, expressed support for the Supreme Court ruling loosening the criteria for party-list accreditation.

In the AKB statement, Rep. Rodel Batocabe asked critics of the high court ruling to respect the decision.

“There cannot be domination of the system by any group especially by the rich and influential. There’s no such thing as domination because of the safety nets put in place,” Batocabe said in a statement.

He cited the three-seat maximum limit imposed by the law on partylists winning in the elections.

“Even if the system has been opened, there are checks and balances since we are also covered by election rules such as airtime and expenditure limits,” he said.

Garbin said the issue of multiple nominees has been resolved in August after the other group, led by Emilio Ubaldo, filed at the Comelec a manifesto of withdrawal as party-list nominees of the AKB.

According to Garbin, the withdrawal was signed and submitted to the Comelec in September by Ubaldo, Pedro Ravanilla and Rus Kristoffer Parcia, the other set of nominees.

AKB’s first set of nominees are Christoper Co, Rodel Batocabe and Garbin Jr.

In the AKB statement, Batocabe said he believes that the justices who approved the majority opinion of Senior Justice Antonio Carpio only upheld the “true intent of the framers of the constitution.”

“What our Supreme Court did was just to affirm and concretize their principles,” said Batocabe.

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