'We have a problem': Comelec seeks clarity from SC over TROs for rejected party-lists

Jauhn Etienne Villaruel, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 27 2021 05:28 PM

The Supreme Court has issued more temporary restraining orders against the Commission on Elections sought by rejected party-list groups. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News/File
The Supreme Court has issued more temporary restraining orders against the Commission on Elections sought by rejected party-list groups. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News/File

MANILA — The Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Monday admitted it has yet to determine the legal effects of the temporary restraining orders (TRO) the Supreme Court (SC) granted to 7 party-list groups denied registration by the poll body. 

In a press briefing, Comelec spokesman James Jimenez said they "have to be clarified" on the what exactly is the SC restraining them to do.

"We’re still waiting for the actual resolution to come out. We will see on the basis of that what the TROs effect will actually be. Because look, just to point out the situation we’re in, if they’re temporary restraining the raffle, eh tapos na yung raffle eh. So ano pa yung ire-restrain mo diyan?" Jimenez said, pertaining to the electronic raffle for ballot placement of approved party-list groups held last Dec. 14.

The Dec. 14 raffle excluded over 100 party-list groups whose applications for registration were denied with finality by the Comelec en banc.

Some of those rejected party-list groups individually sought a status quo ante order from the SC but it was only on Dec. 17 that high court started granting them a different relief.

These are the 7 rejected party-list groups granted TRO by the SC: 

• Apat-Dapat
• Uma Ilonggo
• Alliance for Resilience, Sustainability and Empowerment (ARISE)
• Igorot Warriors
• Ang Tinig ng Seniors
• Lingkud Bayanihan Party
• Mindanao Indigenous Peoples Conference for Peace and Development

According to Jimenez, "we have a problem" if the SC's TROs are aimed at preventing the printing of 2022 ballots set to start on January 12. 

In a previous tweet, Comelec commissioner Rowena Guanzon criticized the party-list groups who went to SC for relief. 

"Those who filed cases to stop Comelec from printing ballot numbers of party-list, I hope you realize what you have done. If ballots are not printed by January, May elections is at risk," she said.

Jimenez said the Comelec may release the final list of official Halalan 2022 candidates on Jan. 7. 

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