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Comelec may disqualify only 10 party-list groups

Sheila Crisostomo - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - The Commission on Elections (Comelec) could possibly reverse the disqualification of 29 to 30 party-list groups that it earlier found not genuinely representing marginalized sectors.

In an ambush interview, Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr. said the poll body is reviewing the cases of 39 party-list groups and 29 to 30 might make it to the May 13 elections.

Brillantes did not elaborate which party-list groups will be allowed to participate in the elections as the Comelec commissioners are set to vote on this tomorrow.

Three weeks ago, the Supreme Court (SC) revised the standards for party-list representation. The high court held that the party-list system should not be exclusive to sectoral groups and must be opened to regional parties and political organizations.

The SC ruling stemmed from the petitions filed by the party-list groups that the Comelec disqualified.

The SC removed the requirement of the Comelec for groups joining the party-list elections to belong to marginalized sectors, which was based on the high court’s pervious decision in the Ang Bagong Bayani case in June 2001.

The tribunal also ruled that the Comelec was correct in disqualifying the party-list groups based on the previous standards, but remanded the disqualification cases to the poll body for new hearings.

But the SC clarified that only 39 of the 52 disqualified party-list groups will be assessed by the Comelec for participation in the coming elections as they were able to secure a mandatory injunction and were included in the official ballots.

The disqualification cases of 13 party-list groups, which are all new applicants for Comelec accreditation, shall be reviewed but they will not participate in next month’s polls.

SC urged to reconsider party-list ruling

Meanwhile, Bayan Muna, Anakpawis and Gabriela party-lists asked the SC to reverse its decision to allow the Comelec to continue limiting the party-list elections to marginalized sectors.

Bayan Muna Rep. Neri Colomenares, Anakpawis Rep. Rafael Mariano and Gabriela Rep. Luz Ilagan made the appeal in an intervention petition filed last Monday by lawyer Maria Cristina Yambot.– With Edu Punay, Jess Diaz

ANAKPAWIS AND GABRIELA ANAKPAWIS REP ANG BAGONG BAYANI BAYAN MUNA BAYAN MUNA REP COMELEC COMELEC CHAIRMAN SIXTO BRILLANTES JR. GROUPS JESS DIAZ LIST PARTY
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