Comelec makes disqualification of 5 party-list groups final

MANILA -- The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has disqualified with finality five party-list groups included in the 12 organizations earlier disqualified but remanded by the Supreme Court (SC).

In a three-page resolution, the Comelec en banc ruled that Coalition of Senior Citizens in the Philippines, Inc. (Senior Citizens); 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) are already disqualified after the Supreme Court (SC) failed to act on their respective petitions on Friday.

"Wherefore, premises considered, the Commission resolved, as it hereby resolves to consider the May 10, 2013, and May 11, 2013 Resolutions cancelling the registration of Senior Citizens, Cocofed, Abang Lingkod, Binhi and Anad as final and executory," the resolution said.

Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes earlier said the Comelec was willing to wait for the SC until Monday before the commission comes out with its decision on how to handle the votes of the 12 groups.

"Almost six days (excluding Saturday and Sunday) have lapsed from the date of receipt by the groups of the resolutions. However, no temporary restraining order or preliminary injunction was issued by the SC of their petitions to this date," the resolution said.

It added that Abang Lingkod was able to receive a copy of the order last May 11 while Binhi got its copy on May 14. The three other groups, Senior Citizens, Cocofed, and Anad received their respective copies of the resolution on May 15.

Upon receipt, the Comelec noted that the groups filed their respective petitions for certiorari before the SC asking for the immediate issuance of a TRO or preliminary injunction.

Earlier Friday, the Comelec said it is inclined to exclude the votes accumulated by the 12 party-list groups that were already disqualified but were included in the official ballots.

Brillantes said he is personally in favor of such move as the poll body has already ruled on their application to participate in the midterm elections.

"We [commission en banc] are still having a debate whether we will count their votes or not… but personally, I believe, we should not count their votes anymore," he said.

Aside from the five, other party-list groups disqualified by Comelec are Ang Galing Pinoy (AG); Atong Paglaum, Inc. (Atong Paglaum); Kaagapay ng Nagkakaisang Agilang Pilipinong Magsasaka (KAP); Social Movement for Active Reform and Transparency (Smart); 1st Kabalikat ng Bayan Ginhawang Sangkatauhan (1st Kabagis); and The True Marcos Loyalist (for God, Country and People) Association of the Philippines, Inc. (Bantay). (HDT/Sunnex)

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