4 more party list groups to lose accreditation

By RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 12 2012 06:19 PM | Updated as of Oct 13 2012 02:26 AM

MANILA, Philippines – The Commission on Elections en banc has voted unanimously to disqualify four more incumbent party list groups from participating in the 2013 midterm elections.

Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes said the poll body will announce the exclusion of 4 more incumbent party list groups on Monday, 10am.

He said the Comelec en banc finished the review of all existing party list groups and voted unanimously to disqualify the 4.

Brillantes said the last 50 existing party list groups were discussed this morning.

The Comelec chief said while he has been getting criticisms, there are more people happy with their purge of the party list system.

He also clarified that there is nothing personal in their decisions, and neither was it influenced by the groups' political alliances. Brillantes said the commission is just being stricter now in enforcing the party list law.

With respect to the new party list group applications, the Comelec divisions have already ruled on the fate of 72 groups.

Twenty-five groups have been denied by the en banc and are in the process of promulgation. Brillantes declined to name the groups till the decisions are promulgated.

Commissioner Grace Padaca is expected to be the tie breaker in the cases of groups where the commission is evenly split.

Brillantes said they are issuing the denials early so the parties can appeal to the High Court.

He said unless the parties get a restraining order, their names will not be printed in the ballots. Ballot printing starts in January.

Ako Bicol, Akbayan

Meantime, Brillantes agreed with Bayan Muna's position that being a multisectoral group does not disqualify the organization from the party list system.

In the case of Ako Bicol, there were other reasons for its disqualification, he said.

Brillantes also said having some members appointed to the Executive branch is also not grounds for disqualification. He said Akbayan is listed as both a political party and a party list group. 

The Comelec chief laughed off reports the poll commissioners will be impeached because of the disqualifications. Brillantes said even if they are reversed by the High Court, it is not grounds for impeachment.