Comelec hit for rejecting Ating Guro’s appeal

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LOSING party-list group Ating Guro on Wednesday criticized the Commission on Elections (Comelec) for denying its petition to be allowed one congressional seat.

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The Comelec en banc on Tuesday rejected Ating Guro’s petition allegedly for lack of legal basis.

Ating Guro’s first nominee Benjo Basas said the Comelec erred in its computation to allocate the seats to party-list groups.

Last month, the group filed a petition to correct the error by allocating only one guaranteed seat to Coop Natcco and allocating the remaining 35 seats in favor of the parties next in rank to it, beginning with Akbayan up to Ating Guro, and to proclaim Ating Guro as one of the winners in the party-list election.

The group argued that the Coop Natcco is not entitled to additional seats because it did not reach the whole integer requirement, and it was not also included in the ranking system for filling out the remaining seats because it already had a guaranteed seat. Thus, the granting of the remaining 35 seats should start from the Akbayan party-list.

“However, they submit to our main legal argument that Coop Natcco, which failed to secure a whole integer upon application of Carpio formula prescribed under Supreme Court’s ruling in Banat v. Comelec is not entitled to additional seat and only one guaranteed seat,” Basas, a high school teacher from Caloocan City (Metro Manila), said in a statement.

Basas said that based on the formula prescribed by the Supreme Court in the Banat vs. Comelec case, Ating Guro was supposed to get the 59th seat.

“The Comelec en banc decision based on National Board of Canvassers (NBOC) supervisory committee recommendation gave second seat to Coop Natcco, while in the same recommendation; it says that Coop Natcco is not entitled to additional seat,” he said.

Basas noted that the poll body ruled in excess of what the Supreme Court says in Banat by still including Coop Natcco in the list of parties to be given the remaining 35 seats.

“By doing such is tantamount to giving Coop Natcco a second seat after its own ruling said it is not. Comelec denied due process to Ating Guro by not giving us a chance to comment on the recommendation of NBOC supervisory committee submitted to en banc,” the public school teacher lamented.

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