Comelec rejects petition to postpone party-list polls

The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - The Commission on Elections (Comelec) rejected yesterday suggestions to postpone the party-list elections on May 13, saying there is no sufficient reason to do so.

Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes said he does not agree with 1 Ang Bagong Alyansang Tagapagtaguyod ng Adhikaing Sambayanan (1 Ang Batas) to reset the polls since the Supreme Court (SC) has already issued new guidelines on the qualifications of party-list groups.

“We will oppose the petition because we are ready to conduct the elections... They are the only ones saying that it is not in order,” Brillantes said.

He said the Comelec would deal with the cases of the 52 disqualified groups remanded to the poll body by the high court.

He said the entry of new commissioners Luie Tito Guia and Al Parreño would enable them to resolve the issue quicker.

Earlier, 1 Ang Batas had filed an urgent motion with the SC to move the party-list elections to October to coincide with the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan polls.

Brillantes, however, said the group might just be exploring the possibility of reversing its disqualification by the Comelec. 

“If it will be postponed and there will be a review, they may be thinking that they will have a chance to participate in the elections,” he said.  

Group endorses 3 bets

The party-list group 1-Utak has endorsed Aurora Rep. Juan Edgardo Angara, entrepreneur Paolo Benigno “Bam” Aquino, and former Sen. Ramon Magsaysay Jr. following a general membership meeting attended by transport organizations from across the country last Wednesday. Angara, Aquino and Magsaysay, all Team PNoy senatorial candidates, were chosen by the group based on their “commitment to social and economic legislation deemed important to the lives of transport workers and the sector’s stakeholders.”

1-Utak has a representative in Congress and is currently broadening its coalition with other transport groups. 

The three candidates thanked the group for its support, said 1-Utak official Vigor Mendoza.

Angara said he was fully aware of the issues that confront the transport sector. He now has the support of at least 10 party-list groups, among them the anti-corruption group Citizens’ Battle Against Corruption (CIBAC) and the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines.

The groups include the You Against Corruption and Poverty (YACAP), An Waray, Ang Asosayon Sang Mangunguma Bisaya-Owa (AAMBIS-OWA), Alay Buhay, A Teacher, Aangat Tayo, Abante Mindanao Inc. (ABAMIN) and Bagong Henerasyon.

Black propaganda hit

Meanwhile,  Ako Bicol (AKB) party-list Rep. Rodel Batocabe has accused certain militant party-list groups of engaging in black propaganda against organizations leading the party-list race.

Batocabe said since AKB garnered the highest margin of votes in the 2010 elections, with more than 1.5 million, “left-leaning party-list groups have embarked on a smear campaign to regain the top slot in next month’s polls.”

He said other mainstream party-list groups have also been victims of the militant groups’ negative campaign.  “During the past two and a half years that we were together in Congress, they did not raise any objection to AKB and we even supported their pet bills. But with the election just around the corner, they started raising a ruckus against AKB and were initially successful when we were the first one disqualified by the Comelec,” he said. – Sheila Crisostomo, Paolo Romero


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