The Commission on Elections (Comelec) is raffling off party-list slots on the ballot on Tuesday, December 14, despite complaints about the poll body’s delay in paperwork.
The Comelec has rejected the appeals of 107 party-list groups, but around 70 of them have not received denial orders from the poll body as of Monday morning, December 13. Spokesperson James Jimenez said the Comelec hopes to release these orders before Monday ends.
Without these Comelec resolutions, at least four rejected party-list groups told Rappler they cannot run to the Supreme Court (SC) to stop the party-list raffle.
The raffle aims to determine the order of party-list groups on the 2022 ballot, which the Comelec plans to start printing by January 12, 2022. If a party-list group fails to make it to the ballot by the time the printing begins, voters would have no way to select them even if they eventually win a case before the SC.
The Comelec originally set the virtual raffle on December 10, but rescheduled it to December 14 “in order for the party-list groups, organizations, and coalitions with pending incidents to have the opportunity to secure a status quo ante order from the Supreme Court.”
A status quo ante order – which can take days or months to process – will prevent the Comelec from keeping rejected party-list groups out of the virtual raffle.
Asked whether that was unfair to the groups, Jimenez said, “The day is not yet over. If they feel they are disadvantaged, they have avenues for redress.”
Groups like Manibela and Nurses United – whose application to participate in the 2022 polls was rejected by the poll body – have been waiting for a copy of their denial orders since December 4, when the Comelec announced through a resolution they won’t be able to join the 2022 party-list race.
“How can we file a request with the [SC] if the Comelec has not given us a copy of their order? We run the risk of being rejected due to technicality,” said Manibela 1st nominee Mar Valbuena on Friday, December 10.
A total of 166 groups will be allowed to join the December 14 raffle. – Rappler.com