SC asked to nullify Comelec’s disqualification of Binhi partylist
MANILA, Philippines—Partylist group Binhi asked the Supreme Court to nullify the decision of the Commission on Elections that disqualified them from running in next year’s elections.
In its petition filed Monday, the group, through their lawyer Charita Agdon, said Comelec’s ruling is “whimsical and abusive” when its accreditation has been cancelled despite compliance with the requirement set under the law.
Last Nov. 28, the poll body issued the resolution disqualifying Binhi.
In their petition, they also asked the high court to stop the implementation of the Nov. 28 ruling and allow them to participate in next year’s elections.
The group said Comelec acted without jurisdiction or with grave abuse of discretion as it pointed to an earlier resolution dated Nov. 19, 2009 where the poll body granted the accreditation and registration of the group as a sectoral party duly representing the peasants, farmers and farm tillers – sectors covered in Section 5 of Republic Act 7941 or Partylist System Act.
“It is a manifest abuse of discretion on the part of the respondent Comelec to cancel the registration based on the pretext that the Petitioner is not among the marginalized and underrepresented and in doing so removing any chance on the part of these small farmers to be part of the legislative body so they can have a chance in promoting their interests in law making,” Binhi’s petition stated.
“The respondent commission whimsically and capriciously cancelled the registration of the petitioner with a very shallow and very unacceptable reason that it is not among the marginalized and underrepresented while a clear reading of the law and jurisprudence concerned would readily reveal that there is no reason to consider the petitioner as not being part of those marginalized and underrepresented,” it added.
The group added that the poll body abused its discretion when it declared them as not marginalized despite absence of any motion questioning their accreditation and registration.
“The said Resolution (Nov. 2009) has become final and executory, in fact the petitioner herein was allowed to participate in the 2010 elections. No other pleadings were filed before the Respondent or before any other courts questioning the findings in the said Resolution suffice it to say that the same attained finality already as early as 2009,” Binhi explained.
“No law, not even the Constitution nor Republic Act 7941 authorizes the respondent Commission to alter, to modify or even to re-open its already final resolution, even the guidelines as mandated by the case of Ang Bagong Bayani does not allow the automatic review on the continuing compliance of all the registered party-list groups,” it added.
Several party list groups already filed their separate petitions with the Supreme Court assailing Comelec’s resolution disqualifying them from running in the 2013 polls.
The high court has already issued a status quo ante in favor of party list groups Ako Bicol (AKB), Association of Philippine Electric Cooperatives (Apec), 1st Consumer’s Alliance for Rural Energy Inc. (1Care), Alliance of Rural Concerns (ARC), Aksyon Magsasaka-Partido Tinig ng Masa (Akma-PTM), Kapatiran ng mga Nakulong na Walang Sala Inc. (Kakusa), Association for Righteousness Advocacy on Leadership (Aral), Bantay, Abroad, Agri-Bantay and Cocofed.
A status quo ante is issued to preserve the last actual peaceable and uncontested status before the litigation or filing of a petition which means while the SQA is in place, it’s as if no resolution disqualifying them has been issued and they can still run for the 2013 elections.