• SC affirms Comelec ouster of Kabagis partylist group

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    THE Supreme Court (SC) has affirmed a Commission on Election (Comelec) decision cancelling the registration of a party-list group in May 2013.

    In a full court decision, the tribunal denied the petition for certiorari with a prayer for a temporary restraining order filed by 1st Kabayan ng Bayan Ginhawang Sangkatauhan (1st Kabagis) for being moot and academic and for lack of merit.

    “The May 21, 2013 resolution of the [Comelec] En Banc is affirmed,” the ruling, signed by Clerk of Court Enriqueta Vidal, stated.

    1st Kabagis alleged that on January 14, 2010, it was registered as a regional multi-sectoral organization under the party-list system of representation.

    It participated in the May 2010 elections but failed to gain a seat in Congress, garnering only 84, 687 votes, or below the two-percent threshold required.

    On May 28, 2012, 1st Kabagis through its chairman Roman Wanasen, filed its manifestation of intent to participate in the 2013 party-list polls.

    The Comelec on December 3, 2012 cancelled 1st Kabagis’ registration and accreditation for declaring untruthful statements, for failure to exist for at least one year and because none of its nominees belonged to the sector it sought to represent.

    1st Kabagis was able to secure a status quo ante order from the high court, ordering its inclusion in the official ballot, subject to the determination of its petition.

    This prompted 1st Kabagis to seek redress with the high tribunal.

    In its petition, it prayed, among others, for the issuance of a writ of preliminary injunction commanding the Comelec to count, tally and canvass the votes cast in its favor.

    However, the court held that “even without the issuance of this writ, the [Comelec] counted all votes vast in favor of 1st Kabagis, rendering this prayer moot.”

    According to the Comelec’s official website, 1st Kabagis was only able to garner 74, 865 votes in the May 13, 2013 national elections, ranking 18th in the party-list groups.

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