MANILA, Philippines - The Supreme Court (SC) upheld the Commission on Elections (Comelec) in junking the registration and accreditation bid by Magdalo Para sa Pagbabago, headed by Senator Antonio Trillanes IV, as a political party based in the National Capital Region (NCR).
In an en banc ruling penned by Associate Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno, the high court dismissed the petition filed by Magdalo, affirming the Oct. 26, 2009 and Jan. 4 2010 resolutions of the Comelec.
The high court said it found no grave abuse of discretion on the part of the Comelec in denying the Petition for Registration filed by Magdalo with the Comelec on July 2, 2009 for participation in the 2010 national and local elections.
Magdalo was represented by its chairperson, Trillanes IV, and its Secretary General, Francisco Ashley Acedillo (Acedillo) in its petition.
On Oct. 26, 2009, the Comelec Second Division issued a resolution denying Magdalo's petition. The poll body cited Sec. 2(5), Art. IX-C of the 1987 Constitution in its decision.
“It is common knowledge that the party’s organizer and Chairman, Senator Antonio F. Trillanes IV, and some members participated in the take-over of the Oakwood Premier Apartments in Ayala Center, Makati City on July 27, 2003, wherein several innocent civilian personnel were held hostage. This and the fact that they were in full battle gear at the time of the mutiny clearly show their purpose in employing violence and using unlawful means to achieve their goals in the process defying the laws of organized societies," the resolution read.
Magdalo filed a motion for reconsideration which was junked by the Comelec on Jan. 4, 2010.
Magdalo assailed the resolutions saying these were based on pure speculation as to the alleged motives or intentions of its founders.
In its decision, the high court said it is not unmindful of the apprehensions of the Comelec. Thus, the ruling stated that should Magdalo decide to file another petition for registration, “its officers must individually execute affidavits renouncing the use of violence or other harmful means to achieve the objectives of their organization.”
“Further, it must also be underscored that the membership of Magdalo cannot include military officers and/or enlisted personnel in active service, as this act would run counter to the express provisions of the Constitution,” the high court said.