Comelec to resolve case of party-list groups with 2 sets of nominees

Mayen Jaymalin - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - Winning party-list groups with two sets of nominees will have to wait until next month to know who will occupy seats in Congress.

This as the Commission on Elections (Comelec) has opted to temporarily set aside the problem of party-list groups with two sets of nominees and focus its efforts on resolving first matters affecting the proclamation of winning party-list groups.

“We will do it later. It’s not that important now. We will resolve the issue of winning party-list groups with two nominees before June 30,” Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr. said yesterday.

“We proclaim the parties, not the individuals who will sit as congressmen,” he said.

Under the Party-List System Act and Comelec Resolution 9366, 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.

Based on the official list of party-list nominees released by the Comelec, however, seven party-list groups have submitted two sets of nominees.

These are Ako Bicol Political Party (AKB); Trade Union Congress Party (TUCP); Adhikaing Tinataguyod gg 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).

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

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

ATING KOOP nominees are Roberto Mascaria, Amparo Rimas, and Lancelot Padla as well as Isidro Lico, Gloria Futalan, and Ma. Socorro Calara.

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

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

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

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

Of the seven groups, AKB and CIBAC have already been proclaimed by the Comelec, and are now assured of one House seat each.

Brillantes said the Comelec cannot rush the proclamation of the party-list winners because computation is crucial in determining the rightful winners. 

“It’s a very close race so we really need to compute and re-compute again and again to be certain,” he said.

Aside from the computation, Brillantes said there is also a problem over 12 disqualified groups that were included in the official ballots and received votes.

Of the 58 party-list seats available, the Comelec has only proclaimed 14 groups which are assured of one congressional seat each.

Seniors to seek SC help

SENIOR CITIZENS party-list Rep. Godofredo Arquiza said they will ask the Supreme Court to stop any group from occupying the last three seats for party-list representatives until they have proven that they are the rightful winners.

Arquiza said they have the right to occupy the last three seats since they obtained 670,000 votes in the recent midterm elections.

Aside from having two sets of nominees, SENIOR CITIZENS had also been disqualified by the Comelec but Arquiza said that the poll body has failed to justify their disqualification.

Last Friday, the Comelec said that the disqualification of five party-list groups, including SENIOR CITIZENS, is final and executory.

The four other groups – Philippine Coconut Producers Federation, Inc. (COCOFED), Abang Lingkod Party-List (ABANG LINGKOD), Binhi-Partido ng mga Magsasaka Para sa mga Magsasaka (BINHI), and Alliance for Nationalism and Democracy (ANAD) – were also disqualified due to lack of action from the SC on their respective petitions.

Earlier, Brillantes said that a number of previously disqualified groups like SENIOR CITIZENS may still make it in the 2013 party-list race since they obtained more than half a million votes.

He said those who obtained more than half a million votes could be ranked number 10 in the list of party-list winners. – With Jaime Laude

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