Despite a ruling of the Supreme Court (SC), the Commission on Elections (Comelec) will not proclaim the Abang Lingkod party-list, Elections Chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr. said on Thursday.
The poll body had disqualified Abang Lingkod, which had won enough votes to qualify for a seat in the House of Representatives on its second try. But after it lost in its first bid for a party-list seat in 2010, the poll body deemed Abang Lingkod as lacking the necessary track record to run for a seat. In the elections earlier this year, the group won enough votes for a single seat in Congress, but could not take that seat because it had been disqualified by Comelec.
The party list group then went to the high tribunal, which decided that they had won fair and square.
Brillantes admitted that he was taken aback by the high tribunal’s decision, but noted that the decision of the SC is not yet final, adding that they will file a motion for reconsideration before the court.
“Hindi pa naman kasi final ‘yun e, aapila pa kami. Ginagawa na siya . . . matagal pa naman siguro ‘yun [It’s not yet final, we will appeal. We are preparing our appeal…it will take some time],” Brillantes said.
“Hindi ko pa nababasa ang buong decision, pero tingnan natin ‘yung dissenting opinions nun [I have not yet read the decision, but let’s see the dissenting opinion],” he added.
The poll body chief admitted that “they were surprised by the decision of the SC,” explaining that their decision to disqualify the Abang Lingkod is “clear.”
In a vote of 10-4, the SC ordered the Comelec to proclaim Abang Lingkod among the winning party-list groups in the May 2013 elections, and to allow it the number of seats entitled to them, based on the total number of votes it garnered during the elections.
Based on reports, the Abang Lingkod garnered 260, 215 votes, thus entitling the group to get one seat in the House of Representatives.
Abang Lingkod is a sectoral organization representing farmers and fishermen, which joined the May 2010 elections, but failed to garner the number of votes needed to have a seat on the Congress.
On May 31, 2012, Abang Lingkod manifested before the Comelec their intent to participate in the 2013 polls, but after several hearings, the poll body cancelled their registration for failure to establish its track record in uplifting the cause of the marginalized and underrepresented groups.
The court said that the Comelec has committed an error when they insisted on requiring the group to prove its track record even if this is not required.