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Comelec may not meet Sept. 30 deadline on accredited party-list groups

September 24, 2012 11:41am

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) said it might not be able to meet the end-September deadline in releasing the final list of party-list groups vying to compete in the May 2013 midterm polls. 
 
“Mukhang hindi na. Nahihirapan kami eh,” Comelec chairman Sixto Brillantes said on Sunday. 
 
For the 2013 elections, 124 registered party-list groups and 165 groups with pending applications for registration have filed their manifestation of intent to participate, according to the Comelec website. 
 
“’Yung September naman was a self-imposed deadline. Kasi we don’t want na andyan na yung October 1 to 5 filing tapos ito pa, patung-patong (na) trabaho. Pero wala kaming magagawa. Marami pa kaming dine-debate e,” Brillantes said, referring to the early-October deadline of filing of certificates of candidacy (COCs).
 
The commissioner noted though that if they do not meet the September 30 deadline, they would try to come up with the final list by the second week of October.
 
“September 30 pa din pero kung hindi talaga kaya, October na, October 10 na siguro. Kasi busy sa filing ng COCs,” Brillantes said.
 
The Comelec also said that the commissioners have not yet agreed on which party-list candidates are considered bogus. 
 
“Madaming issues talaga e. Isa lang ang boto ko e. We have to work on the majority. Hindi pa kami nagkakasundo,” Brillantes said, citing the “marginalized” provision in the party-list law.
 
The party-list system – legislated as Republic Act 7941 – aims to give a voice to citizens’ groups “belonging to the marginalized and underrepresented sectors, organizations and parties, and who lack well-defined political constituencies” to become members of the House of Representatives.
 
The poll body chief said they intend to release a list of party-list groups that did not make the cut, just so they could continue reviewing the groups that have been accredited.
 
“Ang plano namin dun sa mga na-dismiss, ilalabas na namin. ‘Yung accredited, ‘yun ang ire-review pa namin,” Brillantes said.
 
Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez in an earlier report said party-list groups that are accredited in the two divisions will still undergo the automatic review of commissioners sitting en banc. 
 
“It is an automatic review. [The accreditation] could be reversed. Hindi pa kasi ‘yun final,” Jimenez said. –MJC/KG, GMA News
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