Comelec urged to uphold ouster of party-list groups

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MANILA, Philippines—Election watchdog Kontra Daya has asked the Commission on Elections  to uphold the disqualification of 38 party-list groups the Comelec had earlier barred from running in next week’s elections.

In a 15-page motion, Kontra Daya said the Comelec should disqualify 38 party-list groups even after the Supreme Court issued new guidelines which allow nonmarginalized groups to join the party-list race.

“Definitely, public opinion is against the Supreme Court decision with respect to its decision,” Kontra Daya said.

“The Comelec decision cleansing the party-list system was a good start and was popularly supported by the public,” it added.

Kontra Daya said the 38 party-list groups should remain disqualified “without the need for the Comelec to conduct a summary evidentiary hearing” because they failed to meet other criteria, including the requirement that they have a connection to the sectors they claim to represent.

The 38 groups included Ako Bicol Political Party (AKB), Association for Righteousness Advocacy on Leadership (Aral), Alliance for Rural Concerns (ARC), Association of Philippine Electric Cooperatives (Apec), 1st Consumers Alliance for Rural Energy Inc. (1-Care), Aksyon Magsasaka-Partido Tinig ng Masa (Akma-PTM), Kapatiran ng mga Nakulong na Walang Sala Inc. (Kakusa);

The Alliance for Rural and Agrarian Reconstruction Inc. (Araro), Alliance for Nationalism and Democracy (Anad), Agapay ng Indigenous Peoples Rights Alliance Inc. (A-Ipra), 1-Bro Philippine Guardians Brotherhood Inc. (1Bro-PGBI), The True Marcos Loyalist (for God, Country and People) Association of the Philippines Inc. (Bantay), Agri-Agra na Reporma Para sa Magsasaka ng Pilipinas Movement (Agri);

The Philippine Coconut Producers Federation Inc. (Cocofed), Action Brotherhood for Active Dreamer Inc. (Abroad), 1 Guardians Nationalist Philippines Inc. (1Ganap/Guardians), Atong Paglaum Inc. (Atong Paglaum), United Movement Against Drugs Foundation (Unimad), Blessed Federation of Farmers and Fishermen International Inc. (A Blessed Party-List), Aangat Tayo Party-List Party (AT);

The Kaagapay ng Nagkakaisang Agilang Pilipinong Magsasaka (Kap), Adhikain at Kilusan ng Ordinaryong Tao Para sa Lupa, Pabahay, Hanapbuhay at Kaunlaran (Ako-Bahay), Abang Lingkod Party-List (Abang Lingkod), Firm 24-K Association Inc. (Firm 24-K), Alliance of Bicolnon Party (ABP), Green Force for the Environment Sons and Daughters of Mother Earth (Greenforce), among others.

Kontra Daya noted that the Supreme Court had acknowledged that the Comelec did not commit a grave abuse of discretion in its factual findings during the summary evidentiary hearings it conducted to determine the qualification of these party-list groups. Philip Tubeza

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