Party-list woes: Comelec tackling multiple nominees

Sheila Crisostomo - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - With only a month before the elections, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) has yet to resolve issues concerning party-list groups that have two sets of nominees.

At least seven party-list groups have submitted two sets of nominees, the official list of nominees released by the Comelec showed.

These are the Ako Bicol Political Party (AKB), Trade Union Congress Party (TUCP), Adhikaing Tinataguyod Ng Kooperatiba (ATING KOOP), Anak Mindanao Party List (AMIN), Abakada-Guro (ABAKADA), Citizens’ Battle Against Corruption (CIBAC) and Coalition of Associations of Senior Citizens In The Philippines Inc. (SENIOR CITIZENS).

The nominees of AKB are Christopher Co, Rodel Batocabe and Alfredo Garbin, Jr.; and Emilio Ubaldo Jr., Pedro Ravanilla and Rus Kristoffer Parcia.

Raymond Democrito Mendoza, Anthony Sasin and Miguel Niez; and Roland de la Cruz, Alejandro Villaviza and Temistocles Dejon Jr. are the nominees of TUCP.

The nominees of ATING KOOP are Roberto Mascariña, Amparo Rimas and Lancelot Padl; and Isidro Lico, Gloria Futalan, and Ma. Socorro Calara.

The nominees of AMIN are Amabella Carumba, Acmad Macatimbol and Anthony Cuyong; and Sitti Djalia Turabin-Hataman, Rowaisa Pandapatan and Alejandro Plariza.

The nominees of ABAKADA are Jonathan de la Cruz, Alexander Lopez and Rodolfo Tor; and Artemio Tuquero, Lope Feble and Pedro Dabu Jr.

The nominees of CIBAC are Luis Lokin Jr., Bibiano Rivera Jr. and Antonio Manahan Jr.; and Sherwin Tugna, Cinchona Cruz-Gonzales and Armi Jane Borje.

The nominees of SENIOR CITIZENS are Francisco Datol Jr., Amelia Olegario and Efren Santos, as well as Godofredo Arquiza, Milagros Magsaysay and David Kho.

Comelec spokesman James Jimenez said the commission would have to decide before the elections which of the two sets of nominees would be recognized.

Republic Act 7941 or the Party List System Act and Comelec Resolution 9366 state that party-lists that submitted their Manifestations of Intent to Participate are required to include “a list” of at least five nominees, from which party-list representatives shall be chosen in case the group obtains the required number of votes.

Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes earlier said the poll body has to wait for the ruling of the Supreme Court (SC) on the appeal filed by the 54 disqualified party-list groups.

Brillantes said the Comelec could not decide pending a decision on whether the groups should be reinstated following the high court ruling that reversed the Comelec’s standards in determining if a group represents a marginalized sector.

Appeal SC ruling on party-list system, Comelec asked

Meanwhile, election lawyer Romulo Macalintal urged the Comelec to file a motion for reconsideration of the SC ruling on the party-list system.

At a breakfast forum at Cafe Ilustrado in Intramuros, Manila, Macalintal said a final decision as to which among the 52 party-list groups earlier disqualified by the Comelec could participate in the elections under the new guidelines is necessary.

“Are you going to disregard the votes for a disqualified party list? When you do not count the vote, you are disenfranchising the voter because they thought the party-list was qualified. If you count the votes, that will affect the computation of the two percent threshold. It will be very confusing," Macalintal said.

Macalintal added that voters that will vote for party-list groups to be disqualified by the Comelec on election protest cases would be disenfranchised when their votes are not counted or declared as stray.

“You are talking here of ten million to 12 million votes. When you declare their votes as stray, you are disenfranchising at least ten million people. They should not be disenfranchised because it is not their fault. It is the fault of the system,” he said.

“It’s very surprising why the Supreme Court remanded it to the Comelec. It is like telling the Comelec you made the right decision on disqualifying the party-list groups. But you based it on the old doctrine or guidelines. Now review if they will qualify under the new guidelines,” Macalintal said. - With Rainier Allan Ronda

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