Comelec to review inclusion of party-list groups

By RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 05 2013 06:29 PM | Updated as of Apr 06 2013 02:29 AM

MANILA, Philippines -- Commission on Elections (Comelec) Chairman Sixto Brillantes said 41 of the 54 party-list groups whose appeals were remanded to the poll body by the Supreme Court will most likely be allowed to participate in the party-list race.

This, he said, based on the six new guidelines issued by the high court in its ruling.

Brillantes believes the ruling is a compromise.

He assured the public that the poll body will rule on the inclusion of the 41 before the midterm elections.

He said 13 party-list groups were not covered by a status quo ante order with mandatory injunctions that prevented their exclusion from the party-list race.

The 41 which had SQAs were included by the Comelec in the printing of the ballots.

Brillantes explained that had they been disqualified by the court, the Comelec would simply not count their votes

All in all, there are 123 party-list groups printed in the May 2013 ballot, including the 41 whose appeals of their exclusion were remanded by the high court.

Brillantes, however, clarified that the Comelec may still whittle down the number they will allow depending on the hearings they will call for the party-list groups involved.

He said the poll body may hold hearings everyday.

In its ruling, the high court said: "We hold that the Comelec did not commit grave abuse of discretion in following prevailing decisions of this Court in disqualifying petitioners from participating in the coming 13 May 2013 party-list elections."

"However, since the Court adopts in this decision new parameters in the qualification of national, regional and sectoral parties under the party-list system, thereby abandoning the rulings in the decisions applied by the Comelec in disqualifying petitioners, we remand to the Comelec all the present petitions for the Comelec to determine who are qualified to register under the party-list system, and to participate in the coming 13 May 2013 party-list elections, under the new parameters prescribed in this decision," the high court said.