SC stops disqualification of Ako Bicol, 3 others

MANILA, Philippines - The Supreme Court on Tuesday, November 13, temporarily stopped the Commission on Elections (Comelec) from disqualifying 4 party-list groups from participating in the 2013 midterm elections.

In issuing a status quo ante order, the SC granted the petitions filed by party-list groups Ako Bicol, Association of Philippine Electric Cooperatives, 1-Care and Alliance of Rural Concerns, which were disqualified by the Comelec in October.

In their petitions, the groups claimed that the Comelec barred them from seeking congressional seats in 2013 because they allegedly do not represent marginalized sectors. But they questioned the poll body's basis for its decision.

Comelec said that under Republic Act 7941 or the Party-List System Act, marginalized sectors cover only labor, peasant, fisher folks, urban poor, indigenous cultural communities, elderly, handicapped, women, youth, veterans, overseas workers, and professionals.

The SC also asked Comelec to file their comment on the petitions. -