Comelec dismisses petition vs Ako Bicol
- Sheila Crisostomo () - July 29, 2010 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines – The three nominees of leading party-list group Ako Bicol (AKB) will be able to sit in the House of Representatives soon as the Commission on Elections (Comelec) has junked the petition questioning the group’s legitimacy.

In a two-page entry of judgment order, the poll body’s Second Division declared “final” its earlier resolution dismissing the petition against AKB filed by Marites Corteza-Lopez, Mae Ann Michelle Villagomez and Michael Malano who all claimed to be residents of Bicol.

Last June 29, the Second Division junked the petition and gave the three a chance to file a motion for reconsideration.

The petitioners, however, managed to file an appeal only last July 26 or after the deadline had lapsed, thus making the earlier ruling final and executory.  

With the entry of judgment order, the Second Division ordered the issuance of certificates of proclamation to AKB nominees Christopher Co, Rodel Batocabe and Alfredo Garbin Jr.

The AKB, according to the Comelec, won three seats in Congress for bagging the highest number of votes at 1.5 million.

In their petition, the three Bicol residents alleged that AKB does not truly represent Bicolanos as it was established and funded by the “extremely rich, powerful and influential family” of Elizaldy and Christopher Co, the first nominee.

They alleged that Batocabe and Garbin, on the other hand, are corporate officers of the companies owned by the Co family.

But the Second Division said, “If there is still an iota of doubt as to the qualification of AKB, the same should be resolved in its favor.”

“AKB has garnered the most number of votes for the party-list groups. The electorate has spoken, a majority of them from the Bicol region. Their will should be respected and upheld,” it added.

AKB AKO BICOL BATOCABE AND GARBIN BICOL BUT THE SECOND DIVISION CHRISTOPHER CO COMELEC ELIZALDY AND CHRISTOPHER CO HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES LAST JUNE SECOND DIVISION
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