LPGMA stays in Congress – High Court

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THE Supreme Court (SC) has turned down the petition filed by a group seeking to have the LPG Marketers Association Inc. (LPGMA) barred from the House of Representatives.

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In a full court decision signed by clerk of court Enriqueta Vidal, the high tribunal dismissed the Federation of Philippines Industries Inc.’s (FPI) petition asking the SC to void a Commission on Elections (Comelec) decision upholding the LPGMA’s qualification.

The FPI argued that the Comelec should have not allowed the LPGMA to take part in the elections in May last year.

The group pointed out that the party-list system or the Constitution does not provide for a slot for the sector of businessmen, traders, marketers and retailers of liquefied petroleum gas.

It also added that the LPGMA, represented to the House by Rep. Arnel Ty, was not marginalized.

However, the high court junked the petition “for failure to sufficiently show that any grave abuse of discretion was committed by the [Comelec] in rendering the challenged resolution which, on the contrary, appears to be in accord with the facts and applicable law and jurisprudence.”

It can be recalled that the FPI had also asked the SC to stop the Comelec from allowing the LPGMA to participate in the polls, questioning a Comelec resolution dated December 13, 2012 that retained its registration.

But the SC did not see the point of remanding to the Comelec the complaint for cancellation of the LPGMA’s accreditation.

The FPI filed a motion for reconsideration in July last year and the SC reversed itself and granted its motion a month later.

In 2009, the LPGMA sought accreditation with the Comelec as a sectoral organization for the purpose of participating in the May 10, 2010 elections under the party-list system.

Its website stated that their principal advocacy “is protection of the right of the ordinary consumer to have access to reasonably-priced LPG and, also, to exercise their freedom to choose to buy any brand of LPG that is available in the market.”

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