36 disqualified party-list groups will be in the ballot

Comelec has no choice but include in the January 4 raffle groups that got status quo ante orders from the Supreme Court

PARTY-LIST PURGE. Comelec Chair Sixto Brillantes Jr led the unprecedented purge of party-list groups. Photo by Paterno Esmaquel II

MANILA, Philippines – Left with no choice by the Supreme Court (SC), the Commission on Elections (Comelec) will include in the ballot for the 2013 elections the 36 organizations that it has disqualified from or didn’t accredit for the party list.

This was indicated in the modified guidelines for the January 4, 2013, raffle of ballot slots for the party-list groups that Comelec Chair Sixto Brillantes Jr announced in a tweet on Wednesday, December 19.

The raffle will determine the order by which the groups will be listed on the ballot. The 2013 elections will be the first time that the Comelec will randomly decide party-list slots on the ballot. The poll body will do away with an alphabetical listing, to avoid giving undue advantage to groups starting with “A” or “1.”

In a tweet, Comelec Chair Sixto Brillantes Jr said the poll body promulgated Resolution No. 9591 regarding the rules for the raffle. He called this a “modification,” given the SC’s mandatory injunction and status quo ante orders in connection with the Comelec’s unprecedented party-list purge. (The resolution was unavailable at the Comelec’s official website as of posting time.)

The Comelec allowed 83 party-list groups to join the 2013 race – less than a third of the 289 applicants for 2013. The accredited groups include 25 new applicants and 58 that previously received an accreditation.

Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez said 36 groups hold status quo ante orders from the SC, while 24 others have their cases pending before the High Court, which means not all 206 disqualified and unaccredited groups sought reprieve from the High Court.

No choice

The poll body therefore has to include in the ballot the groups that went the SC, and allow people to vote for them just in case the Supreme Court decides, after the elections, to reverse the Comelec’s decisions rejecting them. This is similar to what happened in 2010, the first time elections were automated and the names of groups had to be listed on the ballots. 

Brillantes said the following groups may participate in the raffle:

  • party-list groups or coalitions whose petitions were duly accredited by the commission, and which have manifested their desire to participate in the party-list election
  • party-list groups or coalitions whose registrations were retained by the commission, and which have manifested their desire to participate in the party-list election
  • party-list groups or coalitions which petitions for accreditation were denied by the commission but were able to secure mandatory injunction from the SC; and
  • party-list groups or coalitions which were duly accredited during the 2010 elections, and whose accreditation and registration were subsequently cancelled by the commission but were able to secure status quo ante orders from the SC – Rappler.com