MANILA - Private pollsters Social Weather Stations and Pulse Asia are asking the Supreme Court to stop the Commission on Elections from implementing a resolution that ordered the disclosure of the names of their subscribers.
The 2 pollsters asked for a temporary restraining order against Comelec Resolution 9674 promulgated last April 23.
The resolution ordered SWS and Pulse Asia to identify the “commissioners, payors and subscribers” of the pre-election surveys they conducted beginning February 12.
“Unless this Court intervenes, petitioners will be prosecuted for a crime created by Comelec that never existed before; subjected to a sham, baseless and improper preliminary investigation; deprived of their liberty and other basic rights; and compelled to disclose confidential and protected information,” read their petition filed through lawyers led by De La Salle University college of law founding dean Jose Manuel Diokno.
The two pollsters have refused to comply with the order, saying the resolution interferes with their existing contracts.
“Resolution No. 9674 unduly interferes with the existing contracts of SWS and Pulse Asia, by forcing us to disclose information that, under the contracts, is confidential or privileged. It materially alters the terms of the contracts, imposes new conditions, and dispenses with those agreed upon,” the petition read.
They also said Comelec seemed to have usurped the powers of Congress when it amended provisions of the Fair Elections Act.
"Comelec Resolution 9674 requires Pulse Asia, SWS and other survey firms to submit the names of all their subscribers, including those who did not commission or pay for that particular survey or cause its publication… Only Congress can do that."
They also alleged Comelec did not provide copies of the order leading to the probe against them.