'Ex-NPA' party-list group secures SC relief vs Comelec

Jauhn Etienne Villaruel, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 30 2021 06:56 PM

Abante Sambayan, a party-list group claiming to represent former communist rebels, has secured from the Supreme Court a TRO against the Comelec. Jonathan Cellona and Jauhn Etienne Villaruel, ABS-CBN News/File
Abante Sambayan, a party-list group claiming to represent former communist rebels, has secured from the Supreme Court a TRO against the Comelec. Jonathan Cellona and Jauhn Etienne Villaruel, ABS-CBN News/File

MANILA — A controversial party-list group rejected with finality by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) was granted relief by the Supreme Court (SC) Wednesday, increasing its chances of being included in the ballot printing pending the resolution of its appeal.

Abante Sambayan, a party-list group claiming to represent former communist rebels, secured a temporary restraining order (TRO) against the Comelec, which junked their application for registration, effectively disqualifying them from the Halalan 2022 race.

In a tweet, the SC confirmed granting TRO vs the poll body in favor of Abante Sambayanan. A separate TRO was also granted to another rejected party-list group Ayuda Sa May Kapansanan, Inc.

The SC asked Comelec to comment on the petitions filed by the 2 party-list groups within 10 days.

Aside from the 2, the SC has granted TROs in favor of 7 rejected party-list groups.

  • 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

In a statement, Abante Sambayanan first nominee Jeffrey "Ka Eric" Celiz, who claims to be a former New People's Army (NPA) member, lauded the SC's TRO.

"Abante Sambayanan is going to join now the 2022 party-list elections and will keep the flame of our advocacy alive and burning... as we defeat and reject resoundingly the CPP-NPA-NDF kamatayan party-list groups," Celiz said, referring to the Makabayan bloc.

The Communist Party of the Philippines, (CPP), the political arm of NPA, has denied knowing Celiz, whom they claimed to be a "paid hack" the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC).

The Comelec earlier admitted it has yet to determine the legal effects of the SC's TROs in favor of the rejected party-list groups.