Comelec division junks 2 party-list groups

By RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 13 2012 05:31 PM | Updated as of Sep 14 2012 04:22 PM

MANILA, Philippines – Divisions of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) have rejected the accreditation of 2 party-list groups seeking to run in the 2013 midterm elections.

Documents obtained by ABS-CBN News show that divisions of the Commission on Elections have ruled on the accreditations of 3 of the over 200 party-list groups seeking to run in the 2013 midterm elections.

The 2nd division has denied for lack of merit the accreditation of the Ang Lakas Texters Operator Development Association.

The resolution said the group failed to show track record to promote the interest of the group it claims to represent.

It also noted that the group was only formed a year before it applied for accreditation.

The 2nd division is composed of commissioners Lucenito Tagle and Elias Yusoph.

Also denied, this time by the 1st division, was the accreditation of 1-Lambat, a group that claims to represent fisherfolk.

In its resolution, the division took exception with the group's definition of fisherfolk to include anyone who derives income from the fisheries sector, which includes fish vendors.

It also ruled that the activities of the group fail to establish it can contribute to legislation that will benefit the nation.

The 1st division is chaired by Rene Sarmiento with commissioners Armando Velasco and Christian Robert Lim as members.

On the other hand, the 1st division approved the accreditation of Partido Abe Kapampangan or PAK as a local political party for Pampanga.

Comelec's Education and Information Director James Jimenez explained that the decisions were made at the division level and are now up for automatic review by the Comelec en banc. Only then will decisions be final.

Jimenez did say that from indications, some party-list groups may not make the cut.

Jimenez says the en banc has a tight schedule as it races to meet its self imposed deadline. Jimenez says there will be fewer party-list groups who will be allowed to run in 2013 than in 2010.

Jimenez says he has seen about 10 decisions but declined to give details.

He added that the divisions rule individually on each party-list and release about 5-10 every day. Jimenez says the omnibus resolution for all party-list groups may come out after the en banc finishes its automatic review.

"Marami nang nare-reject, I’ve seen almost 10, more than half-rejected. Then again, that doesn't necessarily mean ‘yan ang trend,” he said.

Jimenez says the high profile party-list groups, such as those linked to certain VIP's have not been decided on by the divisions.