13 party-lists out of official ballot unless...
MANILA, Philippines - The Commission on Elections (Comelec) will not print the names of 13 party-list groups who were inadvertently included in the raffle of party-list slots unless they get a mandatory injunction from the Supreme Court.
In a short session this morning, the commission en banc issued resolution 9604, which reiterates that only accredited groups and groups who were disqualified but secured status quo ante orders should have been allowed to join the raffle of party-list slots on the ballot.
The 13 groups were identified as Ako an Bisaya(16), Alagad ng Sining(24), Alab ng Mamahayag(34), Guardian (36), Abyan Ilonggo (41), Alona (45), PBB (47), PPP (63), 1AAAP (69), Kalikasan (80), AKIN (83), Manila Teachers (101) and Ala-Eh (102).
Alona nominated relatives of House Minority Leader Danilo Suarez while Kalikasan nominated incumbent Kabataan Party-list Rep. Raymond Palatino.
In its resolution, the commission ruled to reserve the slots the groups drew for those who will be able to secure a mandatory injunction.
The same slots will also be excluded from the printing of ballots.
Commissioner Rene Sarmiento explained that this means there will be no adjustments in slots already raffled off despite having gaps.
Sarmiento explained that the commission merely wants to be consistent with its earlier resolution requiring both an SQA and mandatory injunction for groups whose party-list applications were denied by the commission.
He said the Supreme Court issued SQAs en masse for disqualified groups, without making a distinction between applicants who were denied accreditation and existing groups who were disqualified.
The commission explained that SQAs for applicants mean they retain their status as applicants, making a mandatory injunction, necessary.
"The decision is these slots will remain vacant so para maiwasan yung bungi na may bakante,” he said.
Sarmiento added the commission will decide on adjustments as necessary depending on rulings from the High Court.
"If by tomorrow a decision is made by (SC) disqualifying those not in 13, that would mean another adjustment."
The poll body hopes to resolve all of these before Thursday, January 10, which is when the configuration of ballots and precinct count optical machines for the elections will commence. Ballot printing, meantime, begins latter half of this month.
"Yung 13 halimbawa may makuha mandatory injunction, they can retain what they have drawn but without mandatory injunction they have to be removed from the list,” Sarmiento said.