Comelec now has sole jurisdiction on party petitions

Rhodina Villanueva - The Philippine Star
Comelec now has sole jurisdiction on party petitions
This file photo shows the Commission on Elections headquarters in Manila.
Philstar.com / AJ Bolando, file

MANILA, Philippines — The Commission on Elections (Comelec) now has sole jurisdiction over the hearing of petitions for accreditation and registration of political parties, party-list groups as well as citizens arm organizations.

“The Commission on Elections en banc, pursuant to Resolution No. 10878, shall now have exclusive jurisdiction over petitions involving any group or organization seeking registration as a political party, party-list and coalition; and any bona fide non-partisan group, association, or organization with demonstrated capacity to promote the public interest and assist the Commission in the performance of its functions and activities seeking accreditation as citizens’ arms of the Commission,” said the Comelec in a statement.

Thus, political parties and party-list organizations that would like to get registered and accredited will have to secure approval of the entire Comelec bench, not just the First or Second Division.

As to opposition to accreditation of political parties, party-list groups and citizens arm organizations, this will still be handled at the division level of the poll body.

“Any opposition filed against these petitions for registration and accreditation shall be transferred and raffled to either the Comelec First or Second Division,” said the commission.

Before such changes, the jurisdiction over petitions for registration as a political party, party-list and coalition was handled by the Comelec’s divisions.

Motions for reconsideration in the petitions, meanwhile, are elevated to the Commission en banc.

On the other hand, proceedings involving the accreditation of citizens’ arms of the commission has been under exclusive jurisdiction of the Comelec en banc since 1993.

The Comelec said the protocol changes are in accordance with the decision of the Supreme Court (SC) in the case of Georgidi B. Aggabao vs. Commission on Elections promulgated in July 2022.

The SC ruling states that “the accreditation and registration of citizens’ arms, political parties, and party-list group and organizations fall under the administrative function of the Commission, unless an opposition is filed thereto, in which case it shall fall under the quasijudicial function of the Commission.”

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