SC ‘partially restrains’ Comelec on poll surveys
MANILA, Philippines—The Supreme Court on Tuesday “partially restrained” the Commission on Elections from compelling survey firms Social Weather Stations (SWS) and Pulse Asia to disclose the identities of their subscribers during the campaign period for the May 13 polls.
SC spokesman Theodore Te said the high court, in its full court session, acted on the appeal of SWS and Pulse Asia on Comelec’s resolution No. 9674 issued on April 23, which compels them to disclose the names, identities and other personal information of all their respective subscribers.
“The Court … acted … by requiring Comelec to comment on the petition and partially granting the application for a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) by partially restraining the effectivity of Comelec Resolution No. 9674,” Te said at a news briefing.
Te said that at press time he had no information on the “extent of the restraint” that the high court ordered.
But he made clear that the high court did not act on the petition of SWS and Pulse Asia to stop Comelec from prosecuting cases against them.
The two survey firms had gone to the high court last July 26 to protest the Comelec resolution directing them to submit the names of all commissioners and payors of surveys published from Feb.13, 2013, to the date of the promulgation of the resolution.”
The survey firms said Comelec had also filed criminal complaints against them in connection with the resolution and they were ordered to submit a counter-affidavit by Aug. 6.
In their petition, the survey firms said unless the high court intervened, they would be prosecuted “for a crime created by Comelec that never existed before.”
The survey firms sought a writ of certiorari annulling and setting aside the Comelec resolution. They also asked the high court to prohibit the poll body from implementing its resolution as well as prosecuting them for violating the questionable resolution.