SC affirms Comelec on Binhi party-list

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THE Supreme Court (SC) has upheld the disqualification by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) the Binhi-Partido ng mga Magsasaka para sa mga Magsasaka (Binhi) party-list group from the May 2013 elections.

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In an en banc decision, the tribunal denied the petition of Binhi against the Comelec for being moot and academic.

On August 7, 2009, Binhi filed with the Comelec its petition for registration and accreditation as a party representing “peasants, farmers, and farm tillers especially those who are landless and in need of capital of farming.”

Its petition was granted on November 18, 2009 through a resolution by the Comelec’s Second Division.

Binhi was able to participate in the May 10, 2010 polls but it lost.

The Comelec in 2012 asked the party-list groups, including Binhi, to submit relevant proof to establish continuing compliance with the requirements for participation in the party-list system.

On November 28, 2012, the Comelec en banc came out with a verdict cancelling Binhi’s registration/accreditation, thereby disallowing it to participate in the May 2013 elections, citing that Binhi was just a front for the Cabanatuan City Seed Growers Multi-Purpose Cooperative, prompting the group to seek redress with the high court.

But the high tribunal affirmed “the May 10, 2013 resolution of the Comelec en banc formally disallowing Binhi’s participation [in the polls.]”

Besides Binhi partly-list, the poll body also disqualified the Philippine Coconut Producers Federation, Abang Lingkod, Alliance for Nationalism and Democracy, Agapay ng Indigenous Peoples Rights Alliance Inc. Ang Galing Pinoy, Atong Paglaum Inc., Kaagapay ng Nagkakaisang Agilang Pilipinong Magsasaka, Social Movement for Active Reform and Transparency, The True Marcos Loyalist Association of the Philippines Inc. and several others.

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