Comelec disqualifies Ako Bicol, 12 other party-lists-A A +A
Wednesday, October 10, 2012
MANILA (Updated) -- The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has disqualified 13 previously accredited party-list groups from running in the 2013 midterm polls.
“We are now announcing the cancellation of the accreditation of 12 party-lists and the 13th, which is Ako Bicol (AKB), we are not allowing them to run in the 2013 party-list elections,” said Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes.
In the 2010 polls, AKB garnered 1,524,006 votes, which earned them three seats at the House of Representatives subsequently assumed by Representatives Christopher Co, Rodel Batocabe, and Alfredo Garbin Jr.
Aside from AKB, Brillantes said the poll body has decided to cancel the registrations of 12 party-list groups, 11 of which ran in the 2010 polls but failed to earn congressional seats.
These are 1-AANI, 1Ganap/Guardians, 1st Prisa, A Blessed, Anupa, ARC, Aral, Atong Paglaum, Oragon, Unimad, and Yes we can.
The group, 1-BRO PGBI, ran in the 2004 party-list elections but also failed to win a seat.
In a resolution, the Comelec en banc refused to allow AKB from running again, saying the group should not have been allowed to run in the first place.
“This Commission denies the participation of AKB as a political party under the party-list system for the May 13, 2013 elections,” said the Comelec en banc, which voted unanimously.
“Ako Bicol was the number one party-list in the 2010 elections. They garnered the highest number of votes. They have three congressmen right now but we are denying their participation in the 2013 party-list elections,” Brillantes said.
He said AKB was not supposed to have been allowed to run in 2010 since it was accredited as a political party and not as a party-list group.
“It does not mean that if you’re a political party, you can just run in the party-list system without filing a separate petition, which they did not do,” said Brillantes.
Aside from not being an accredited party-list, the Comelec pointed out the group’s absence of a specific marginalized or underrepresented sector to represent from the list of labor, peasant, fisherfolk, urban poor, indigenous, elderly, handicapped, women, youth, veterans, overseas workers, and professionals.
“The list is not exclusive, but it does not mean that all sectors can participate,” the Comelec said.
The commission added that with the mission of the party focused on seeking to help “Bicolanos,” it appears that they are looking to represent them, which they found unacceptable.
“These provinces have their respective district representatives in the Lower House. If this Commission were to allow AKB’s continued participation in the party-list system, the Commission is condoning the continued and blatant violation of proportional representation… (They) will have a number of representatives more than the number allowed by the Constitution,” it said.
The poll body also questioned how the nominees of the group do not appear to be marginalized and underrepresented since Co is a businessman, while Batocabe and Garbin are lawyers.
“As to how lawyers, businessmen and ophthalmologists are marginalized and underrepresented is not shown by AKB and its nominees,” said the Comelec.
Brillantes, meanwhile, clarified that AKB can still file an appeal before the Supreme Court since it can no longer be questioned in the commission en banc.
In the Comelec resolution, the commission en banc clarified that the accreditation of AKB as a political party is being retained.
Brillantes also said the three lawmakers of AKB will be allowed to finish their terms until June 30, 2013. (HDT/Sunnex)