MANILA, Philippines – The 1st Consumers Alliance for Rural Energy, Inc. (1-CARE) formally urged the Supreme Court (SC) on Thursday to annul the cancellation of its accreditation as a party-list group in next year's mid-term elections.
In a 56-page petition, 1-CARE accused the Commission on Elections (Comelec) of having committed grave abuse of discretion in issuing its Oct. 16 Resolution that listed 1-CARE among those disqualified in the party-list race.
1-CARE sought the immediate issuance of a temporary restraining order (TRO) or a status quo ante order (SQAO) to enjoin the poll body from implementing the assailed resolution.
"With all due respect, respondent Comelec has acted without or in excess of its jurisdiction, or with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction in practically reopening without legal basis, and re-determining the issues already resolved in the registration proceedings of petitioner 1-CARE, which had long been terminated in January 2010 when the Comelec granted its petition for registration as a sectoral party under the party-list system of representation," the petition read.
The group insisted that it has complied with all requirements for registration, and insists that it "represents the marginalized and the underrepresented rural energy consumers."
Once a party-list group has already been granted accreditation, 1-CARE insists that the cancellation of the same may only be based on the following grounds, as stated in Sec. 6 of Republic Act (RA) No. 7941 (Party-list System Act):
(1) It is a religious sect or denomination, organization or association, organized for religious purposes;
(2) It advocates violence or unlawful means to seek its goal;
(3) It is a foreign party or organization;
(4) It is receiving support from any foreign government, foreign political party, foundation, organization, whether directly or through any of its officers or members or indirectly through third parties for partisan election purposes;
(5) It violates or fails to comply with laws, rules or regulations relating to elections;
(6) It declares untruthful statements in its petition;
(7) It has ceased to exist for at least one (1) year; or
(8) It fails to participate in the last two (2) preceding elections or fails to obtain at least two per centum (2%) of the votes cast under the party-list system in the two (2) preceding elections for the constituency in which it has registered.
Aside from 1-CARE, APEC and AKO BICOL have also filed similar petitions with the high court.
The petitions will be tacked on Nov. 13 when the high court resumes its en banc sessions.