Abang Lingkod party-list disqualified with finality

STEPHEN Paduano a.k.a. Carapali Lualhati, the No. 1 nominee of Abang Lingkod, is still hoping for a favorable decision of the Supreme Court for the party’s inclusion among the party-lists in the May 13 elections.

"The people have spoken. They have voted for us. It's not about Abang Lingkod or Carapali Lualhati. It's about the people who voted for us," said Lualhati in reaction to the decision of the Comelec en banc.

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has disqualified with finality the Abang Lingkod and four other 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.

However, Lualhati pointed out that the Supreme Court is still on recess and is set to resume on June yet.

He said that aside from Binhi, Senior Citizens and Abang Lingkod garnered winning votes in the May 13 elections, enough for the two party lists to be given representation to congress.

He also alleged that some groups campaigned against them and that this may have also influenced the Comelec decision.

"It's the will of the people that matters above all these," he said.

The Comelec en banc decision further 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.

Lualhati said that they will wait for the announcement of Brillantes on Monday.

He also reiterated the statement of Ben Solilapsi, Secretary General of Abang Lingkod, who said that they will not hesitate to file contempt charges against the Comelec and Chairman Sixto Brillantes if they will proclaim party lists whose votes are lower than that of Abang Lingkod.

"We will only agree on the proclamation of party-lists that have gained the 2 percent or more as mandated by the party list law," Solilapsi pointed out.

He further said that Brillantes, being a lawyer himself, is much aware of the stakes of 12 party list groups whose case are still pending in the Supreme Court and unfortunately the SC is right now on recess and will resume in June yet. (TDE)

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