4 party-list groups get halt order from SC vs Comelec

By Ira Pedrasa, ABS-CBNnews.com

Posted at Nov 13 2012 01:35 PM | Updated as of Nov 14 2012 01:12 AM

MANILA, Philippines (1st UPDATE) - The Supreme Court issued a status quo ante order against a Commission on Elections (Comelec) decision disqualifying at least four party-list groups in the 2013 elections.

ABS-CBNnews.com sources said the high court issued the order in favor of Ako Bicol, 1-Care, APEC, and Alliance of Rural Concerns.

The party-list groups earlier questioned the allegedly arbitrary decision of the poll body in disqualifying them.

In its petition, Ako Bicol (AKB) questioned Comelec’s decision that it does not represent the marginalized. It said Comelec could not just impose an "arbitrary assumption that to be qualified as a party-list, petitioner must represent financially poor and destitute constituents.”

AKB won the largest number of votes in 2010, or a total of 1,522,986 votes that represents 5% of the total votes cast.

1-Care or the 1st Consumer’s Alliance for Rural Energy also questioned the poll body’s decision amid a Supreme Court decision in February 2011 already favoring its accreditation.

“The long established doctrine of Immutability of Judgments was totally disregarded in the case at hand. It is incumbent upon the Court to assist in the enforcement of the law and in the maintenance of peace and order in our government and society at large to put an end to judiciable controversies with finality,” 1-Care earlier said.