62 partylist groups barred from joining 2013 polls

Comelec has decided not to include 62 out of the 187 partylist groups in the 2013 mid-term election

MANILA, Philippines – The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has decided not to include in next year’s election a third of the partylists that joined in the 2010 polls.

The poll body signed on Friday, April 27, Resolution 9412, which bars 62 out of last elections’ 187 partylist groups to join the 2013 midterm elections.

Comelec points out to two main reasons for disqualifying these groups in joining the polls for partylist representation next year:

  • failure to obtain sufficient votes in the two preceding elections
  • finality of the decision denying their partylist registration

Out of the 62 groups, 29 were removed for failure to obtain the required number of votes in the two preceding elections.

Under Republic Act 7941 or the Party-list System Act, the election body can cancel the accreditation of a partylist group if it “fails to participate or obtain at least 2% of the votes cast under the party-list system in the 2 preceding elections.”

This rule, however, does not cover 17 partylist groups that are currently serving a term in Congress even though they obtained less than 2% of votes in both the 2007 and 2010 elections.

They are spared by the decision in the BANAT vs. Comelec case in 2009, in which groups with less than 2% of the vote still have the chance to get one seat each in order to satisfy the quota needed to fill the Congress.

On the other hand, 32 groups were also removed due to the finality of the decision of Comelec or the Supreme Court (SC) denying their partylist registration.

The resolution also states the removal of the Citizen Power Movement, Inc. (CPM) among the accredited partylists. The group was still included in the 2010 poll ballots, despite having its registration cancelled 5 days before the poll date. Ballots for the 2010 polls were already printed as early as February.

The resolution also mentions two groups that still have to await for a decision from the SC or Comelec whether they will be delisted from the partylist:

  • Alliance for Baranggay Concerns (ABC)

The remaining 123 partylist groups are considered qualified to join the 2013 elections. But they are not automatically included in next year’s polls, since they still have to file their manifestation of intent to join the 2013 elections. Deadline for filing the manifestation of intent is on May 30. – Rappler.com