MANILA (UPDATE) - Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes today announced the disqualification of 22 applicants for party-list accreditation in the 2013 mid-term elections, including Willie Revillame's I Wil Serve.
The 22 groups are in a list of 32 groups disqualified by the poll body and which Brillantes distributed to the media. Eleven of those on the list were already announced in an earlier list released by the poll body months ago.
Brillantes explained that all 32 were denied accreditation by separate divisions and did not appeal before the en banc within the prescribed 5-day period, paving the way for the en banc's affirmation of the division denials. I Wil Serve's denial was promulgated on October 29, 2012.
Based on papers filed with the Comelec, I Wil Serve's founders were listed to be Wilfredo Revillame, Alfonso Reyno, Ferdinand Domingo, Lemuel Santos, Peter Francis Zabala, Heather Z Annang, Marieta Zarate and 4 others.
Revillame, however, was not among those listed to be the group's nominees for congressional seats.
"Denied sa division, hindi nagfile ng MR [motion for reconsideration]. Hindi nannounce before na nagfinal na pala ito. Mahigit isang buwan na ito, hindi ko alam anong grounds basta inaffirm na lang namin," Brillantes said.
Brillantes admitted there have been inconsistencies in the poll body's rulings on the accreditation of party-list groups.
This, after poll watchdog Kontra Daya slammed the poll body last week for retaining allied party-list groups of President Aquino in the party-list system.
Brillantes, however, pointed out that the poll body is a collegial entity where he is only entitled to one vote.
"Ang comment ko sa Kontra Daya, apparently they want us to follow them, di naman nila alam anong nangyari. I know there are inconsistencies but we are a collegial body, we're guided by a vote, by each one. Bakit di naman nila tignan. Di naman pwede sumunod kami sa lahat," he said.
Brillantes said Kontra Daya was not made to pay filing fees for the disqualificaton case they filed. Brillantes said the poll body studied each group on a case-to-case basis. "Every case is a different case, you have to see the individual decisions."
Brillantes said the poll body cannot yet rule on the fate of at least 5 pending party-list groups because their folders on these groups are missing.
Brillantes was supposed to announce the fate of the groups which he refused to identify initially. "Depende, di pa kami nagbobotohan dahil di naming makita folder. Dito [sa Comelec] ang daming nawawala because of the assignment kung sino ponente."
Brillantes would later on identify one of the pending groups to be PhilMus, a group of Filipino Muslims.
The poll body is now doing an inventory of all pending cases.
Brillantes also revealed that they are preparing an omnibus resolution listing the names of the groups who have been retained and accepted into the party-list system. He said it's just taking some time because of the preparation of the majority and dissenting opinions.