Brillantes eyes more DQs of party-list groups

By RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 21 2012 03:37 PM | Updated as of Dec 22 2012 07:05 AM

MANILA, Philippines – Commission on Elections (Comelec) Chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr. welcomed the Supreme Court's dismissal of Kabaka's application for party-list accreditation, saying it augured well for the dismissal of other party-list groups before the high court.

Kabaka, a political party which nominated a granddaughter of the Bagatsing clan of Manila for Congress, was already dismissed as a party-list applicant by the poll body before seeking redress before the Supreme Court (SC).

Brillantes compared Kabaka to Ako Bicol, a political party which has been disqualified by the poll body from the 2013 party-list race.

Brillantes is happy that the SC appears to be understanding the party-list purge.

He added that political parties can only run in the party-list elections so long as they are underrepresented and marginalized.

The poll chief also predicted that the SC will dismiss more motions for reconsideration from other groups disqualified by the Comelec. Brillantes even jokingly added that for Christmas, he wishes the high court to rule on the party-list groups sooner and to stop issuing status quo ante orders.

Meantime, the Comelec chief estimates around 50 candidates nationwide will be substituted before the deadline for candidate substitution lapses Friday.

He doesn't expect any more withdrawals and substitutions at the senatorial level after Televangelist Eddie Villanueva substituted for Israel Virgenes on Thursday.

Candidates have to withdraw and be substituted where they filed their candidacy.

Senator Edgardo Angara also withdrew on Thursday his candidacy for governor of his Aurora home province, to be replaced by his nephew.

Brillantes said after Friday’s deadline, candidates may only withdraw but no longer be substituted.

The Comelec hopes to finish all these matters before beginning the configuration of precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machines next month.

At the same time, the Comelec is battling an expropriation case it filed in court against the owner of the warehouse where it stores its PCOS machines.

The contract for the warehouse expired in August and since then, biddings and subsequent negotiations for a new contract have bogged down.

Brillantes previously said the warehouse owner wants a 3-year contract, but the Comelec only wants a 6-month contract.

The expropriation case maybe heard either on December 26 or 27.