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Eleksyon 2013

Party-list proclamation still in limbo — Brillantes

May 23, 2013 4:40pm

(Updated 5:41 p.m.) The proclamation of winning party-list groups in the 2013 elections is still in limbo awaiting a formal resolution from the poll body, according to the Commission on Elections (Comelec) chairman Thursday afternoon.

 "We will come up with a resolution late this afternoon, tonight or early tomorrow morning," poll chief Sixto Brillantes Jr. told the various party-list groups monitoring the canvassing.

In the meantime, "We will not be announcing on how many or who will be proclaimed," he said.

The delayed proclamation did not sit well with progressive party-list groups, which said some groups could already be proclaimed with more than 110 certificates of canvass tallied and audited.

"Why isn't Comelec pushing for the proclamation of winning party-list groups? WIth more than 110 COCs canvassed and more than 28,292,869 party-list votes counted, it is time for the NBOC [National Board of Canvassers] to proclaim the clear winners in the party-list race," Bayan Muna Rep. Neri Colmenares said in a statement.

Anakpawis representative Rafael Mariano added, "The Automated Election System endeavors to determine the will of the people in an expeditious manner. What is the Comelec waiting for?"

To which the Comelec chairperson said, "Alam din namin 'yun. Hindi naman pwedeng mas magaling sa amin ang Bayan Muna. Marunong naman kaming mag-compute."

Brillantes said they are still weighing their options whether or not to include the 12 disqualified party-list groups that have appealed to the Supreme Court.

He said the resolution would clarify how many party-lists can be proclaimed that have guaranteed and additional seats.

The Comelec would need the total votes cast to calculate the number of seats for party-lists.

Party-lists that garnered two percent of total votes cast are guaranteed one seat. Meanwhile, the Comelec will be calculating the number of additional seats for those that exceeded the two-percent threshold using the formula stated in the Supreme Court ruling Banat vs. Comelec.

Commissioner Grace Padaca later told GMA News Online that Comelec "wants to be very careful" when it comes to calculating the total votes cast.

She added that a "couple of disqualified party-lists" have garnered a significant number of votes that could swing the results of a partial proclamation. She only identified the Senior Citizens party-list, which as of the first tally managed to get at tenth place with over 670,000 votes.

"A big part of our deliberations is looking at the status of their cases," Padaca said in a phone interview.

According to the Comelec's first tally of considated votes covering 110 certificates of canvass, Buhay Hayaang Yumabon is the leading party-list followed by A-Teachers, Bayan Muna, 1-CARE, Akbayan, Ako Bicol, and Abono, among others.

Meanwhile, Colmenares also noted that the delay "only raises the possibility of fraud by losing party-list groups."

But Padaca said the canvassing is "very open" and that party-list groups are well-represented.

The party-list is a proportional representational system for the marginalized and underrepresented sectors. — BM, GMA News
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