SC has last say on 3 vacant party-list seats—Comelec
MANILA, Philippines—The Commission on Elections on Monday said the Supreme Court has the last say on who will occupy the last three party-list seats in Congress.
Comelec Chair Sixto Brillantes Jr. said the election body will no longer make any proclamation of winning party-list groups since the remaining seats have been reserved to two organizations that have pending petitions in the high tribunal.
“We will not make any party-list proclamation anymore. The remaining seats are reserved. It will depend now on what the SC’s decision will be,” said Brillantes in an interview with reporters.
Earlier, the high court issued a status quo ante order preventing the Comelec from implementing its decision to disqualify party-list groups Senior Citizens and Abang Lingkod from the elections and also directed the commission to reserve seats for these groups should they win.
During the elections, Senior Citizens garnered 677,742 votes, which entitled them to two seats in the House of Representatives while Abang Lingkod won 260,215 votes, securing one seat.
But Brillantes noted that if the two groups failed to secure a favorable decision from the SC, the Comelec will have to give the last three seats to the next two winning groups based on the tally of the National Board of Canvassers (NBOC) and An Waray party-list group will also be awarded its second certificate of proclamation.
Brillantes made these statements following the proclamation of Agbiag! Timpuyog Ilocano Inc., Append, Inc. and Ang National Coalition of Indigenous Peoples Action Na by the NBOC over the weekend.
In its resolution, the NboC said it was proclaiming the three groups following completion of the canvassing of votes from 44 clustered precincts out of the 49 that failed to transmit the election returns on May 13 due to problems with the compact flash cards of the precinct count optical scan machines.
“The NboC resolves to proclaim the following party-list groups as additional winners in the party-list elections without prejudice to the proclamation of other parties, organizations or coalitions, which may later on be established to be entitled to one guaranteed seat and or additional seat,” it stated.