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SC upholds Comelec ruling vs party-list group


Almost six months after the midterm polls, the Supreme Court has ruled with finality an earlier decision upholding Comelec ruling disqualifying a party-list group that sought a House seat in the May 13, 2013 elections.

In a resolution, the high court sitting en banc denied a motion for reconsideration filed by 1Para sa Bayan (1PSB) seeking to reverse the court's original June ruling favoring the Comelec.

In 2012, the poll body had disqualified a number of party-list groups for supposedly not representing marginalized sectors.

“Acting on the motion for reconsideration (of the resolution dated June 10, 2013), dated July 17, 2013 filed by counsel for petitioner, the court resolved to deny with finality the said [MR],” the SC decision read.

In the ruling signed by SC clerk of court Enriqueta Vidal, the high court said there were “no substantial arguments… presented to warrant the reversal of the questioned resolution.”

1PSB was among the 23 groups that had applied for Comelec accreditation as party-list for the first time and whose petitions were dismissed by the SC for "being moot and academic."

These groups had not been included in the consolidation order issued earlier by the high court that brought together 52 other party-list cases (Atong Paglaum et al v Comelec).

Since the Comelec's move to disqualify a number of party-list groups late last year, petitions questioning the poll body's decision have flooded the high court, which eventually issued status quo ante ("the way thing were before") orders in favor of several of the disqualified party-list groups.

The SQA orders directed the Comelec to observe the status before the disqualification resolutions were issued last year.

Disqualified groups that were able to secure SQAs from the high court were included in the ballots.

But in a ruling in April, the SC said the Comelec did not commit grave abuse of discretion when it disqualified a number of party-list groups for the May polls.

However, the SC set new parameters for accepting party-list registration and returned to the Comelec the petitions of the disqualified groups, so the poll body can review them based on the new parameters. — LBG, GMA News