The Supreme Court (SC) on Tuesday stopped the Commission on Elections (Comelec) from prosecuting Social Weather Stations (SWS) and Pulse Asia for the two pollsters’ alleged violation of the law by withholding information on their financiers.
At their en banc hearing in Baguio City, Mountain Province, SC justices ruled to enjoin the poll body from cracking down on SWS and Pulse Asia for failing to submit names of their officials, payors of and subscribers to surveys that they conducted during the campaign period for the 2013 elections.
The justices, however, affirmed the legality of Comelec Resolution 9674, which was promulgated last April 23, mandating SWS, Pulse Asia and other survey firms to identify the “commissioners, payors [of ] and subscribers” [to]pre-election surveys that they conducted starting February 12, 2013 “for copying and verification” by the poll body.
The Comelec had ruled that survey firms should reveal “names of all commissioners and payors of surveys published from February 12, 2013 to the date of promulgation of [the]resolution for copying and verification by the [Comelec].”
SWS and Pulse Asia, however, refused to abide with the Comelec resolution, prompting an investigation by the poll body of their officials, payors and subscribers.
They protested the Comelec resolution and elevated their case to the Supreme Court on July 26, 2013, claiming that the resolution had violated their “liberty and other basic rights,” including their right to “protected information.”