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SC to Comelec: Reserve House seats for Senior Citizens

Louis Bacani - The Philippine Star
MANILA, Philippines - The Supreme Court on Wednesday stopped the disqualification of the Coalition of Associations of Senior Citizens in the Philippines  Inc. (Senior Citizens) and ordered the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to reserve the congressional seats intended for the group.
 
After a special en banc session, the high court issued two status quo ante orders (SQAO) in relation to the consolidated petitions filed by Senior Citizens and Abang Lingkod Party List, which were both disqualified by the Comelec.
 
In both SQAOs, the SC directs the poll body from implementing its earlier resolutions disqualifying Senior Citizens as a party-list group.
 
"However, in the Senior Citizens SQAO, the Court further directs the COMELEC to reserve the seat(s) intended for petitioner Senior Citizens according to the votes it garnered in the May 13, 2013 elections," the SC said.
 
Senior Citizens obtained 671,916 votes and ranked 10th in the Comelec's partial, official tally. It would get two congressional seats if proclaimed as winner in the recent elections.
 
However, it was not included among the 38 winning groups proclaimed by the Comelec last week.
 
The recent SQAO says Senior Citizens may not be not be proclaimed pending a final ruling on the case.
 
"Proclamations of Abang Lingkod and Senior Citizens as winners in the May 13, 2013 elections are ordered to be held in abeyance until the Court shall have resolved the petitions involving these two party-list groups," the SC said.
 
The Comelec disqualified the Senior Citizens after its nominees went into separate factions and forged a term-sharing agreement for the two seats they won in the 2010 elections.
 
The SC earlier issued a temporary restraining order against the Comelec ruling disqualifying Senior Citizens and stopped the proclamation of other party-list winners.
 
The high court said Senior Citizens obtained a substantial number of votes "such that it could materially affect the determination of the allocation of seats for party-list representatives."

CITIZENS COALITION OF ASSOCIATIONS OF SENIOR CITIZENS COMELEC PROCLAMATIONS OF ABANG LINGKOD AND SENIOR CITIZENS SENIOR SENIOR CITIZENS SENIOR CITIZENS AND ABANG LINGKOD PARTY LIST SUPREME COURT
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