January 4, 2013
The newly formed workers group Partido ng Manggagawa Coalition (PM Coalition) filed yesterday afternoon with the Supreme Court an urgent omnibus motion to seek its inclusion in the scheduled raffle of party list organizations this afternoon. The Comelec had announced that the raffle will proceed today despite an earlier call by PM Coalition to defer it to give way to the SC’s action on petitions by disqualified party-list groups.
In the omnibus motion, PM Coalition also asked the SC to hold a special raffle for the petition the group earlier filed seeking to overturn the Comelec’s disqualification and to facilitate action on the temporary restraining order (TRO) that it sought. In its petition, PM Coalition requested for a TRO on the party list raffle and printing of ballots. But in the motion filed yesterday, the group asked for inclusion in the raffle as an alternative to a TRO.
The PM Coalition went to the SC Court before the holiday break to seek remedy after it was disqualified based on mere technicality and the poll body’s misinterpretation of the law.
The SC justices, however, are set to resume their session on January 8, their first session of the year. But before it went into break on December 11, the En Banc issued status quo ante orders (SQAO) for another batch of 19 partylist groups that were previously disqualified by the Comelec.
The group hopes that it will get the same reprieve from the high tribunal after submitting substantial evidence supporting its petition for certiorari and eventual qualification as a legitimate partylist group.
In the assailed Comelec resolution denying the accreditation of PM Coalition, the poll body states:
“A careful perusal of the petition clearly shows that PM Coalition fell short of the requirement to be accredited as a sectoral coalition. While petitioner has extensively submitted documentary evidence to support its petition, it failed to consider a material requisite to seek registration as a coalition, that is, that its member organizations should be duly registered parties with this Commission.”
PM Coalition president and PALEA secretary Bong Palad said this particular Comelec resolution “was highly irregular and questionable” and therefore the offended party must be given due course before the poll body conducts the raffle and the final printing of ballots.
“Many were aware of the fact that the Comelec’s half-serious purging of the partylist system has disqualified many groups but at the same time allowed many spurious groups and parties with no substantial qualifications to remain in the race. This is truly unjust and unfair for a legitimate sectoral group such as the PM Coalition,” argued Palad.