SC issues SQA on AGP, PACYAW, 1-UTAK party-list groups

December 13, 2012 11:23 pm 

MANILA, Dec. 13 — The Supreme Court (SC) has saved the Ang Galing Pinoy (AGP) and the Philippine Association for Country-Urban Poor Youth Advancement Welfare (PACYAW) party-list groups from being disqualified by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to join in the May 13, 2013 elections.

This was after the SC en banc has decided to issue a status quo ante (SQA) order in favor of 10 more party-list groups which were disqualified by the Comelec during the SC's Dec. 11, 2012 en banc deliberations.

AGP was represented in the SC by its secretary general Bernardo Corella, Jr.

The Comelec has dismissed the accreditation of AGP party-list group allegedly because it is not considered marginalized.

The AGP questioned before the SC the Comelec's grounds in being ousted from the polls, it cries violation of its constitutional right to due process, saying that, it was not given a chance to prove its qualification as provided in mechanisms under Republic Act 7941 or Party-list System Act.

It argued that the election court gravely abused its discretion and acted without jurisdiction "when it concluded that AG does not intend to represent any marginalized or underrepresented sector based on facts and evidence already resolved in 2007."

Another party-list group which was saved by the SC is 1-United Transport Coalition (1-UTAK).

This group was represented before by the late Defense Secretary Angelo Reyes, but he failed to get a seat in Congress due to internal squabble inside the party-list organization.

Instead, it is Homer Mercado who was given a seat in Congress and now replaced by Zenaida Maranan via term sharing.

Other partylist groups saved by the SC were the Kalikasan party-list; Association of Local Athletics Entrepreneurs and Hobbyists, Inc. (ALA-EH); Coalition of Association of Senior Citizens in the Philippines Inc. (Sr. Citizen); 1 Alliance Advocating Autonomy (1AAAP); Abyan Ilonggo Party (AI); Manila Teachers Savings and Loans Association, Inc.; and Partido ng Bayan ang Bida (PBB).

Last week, 18 party-list groups were saved by SC, including that of journalists called the Alab ng Mamamahayag (Alam), farmers group Butil and multi-sectoral Aangat Tayo.

Aside from the three groups, covered by the SQA are the following: Atong Paglaum Inc. (Atong Paglaum), Kaagapay ng Nagkakaisang Aguilang Pilipinong Magsasaka (KAP), Abang Lingkod, Inc. (Abang Lingkod), Firm 24-K Association, Inc. (Firm 24-K), Alliance of Bicolnon Party (ABP), A Blessed Federation of Farmers and Fishermen International, Inc. (A Blessed Party), Ang Agrikultura Natin Isulong (Aani), Action League of Indigenous Masses (Alim), United Movement Against Drug Foundation, Inc. (Unimad) and Bayani Party-list.

Also saved were Advocates in Mining Advancement for National Progress (Aama), Social Movement for Active Reform and Transparency (Smart), Adhikain at Kilusan ng Ordinaryong Tao Para Sa Lupa Pabahay Hanapbuhay at Kaunlaran (Ako Buhay), 1 Guardians Nationalist Phil. Inc, (1 Ganap/Guardians), and Green Force for the Environment-Sons and Daughters of Mother Earth (Green Force).

The SC has also issued an SQA in favor of Aksyon Magsasaka-Partido Tinig ng Masa (AKMA-PTM), Kapatiran ng mga Nakulong na Walang Sala, Inc. (KAKUSA), Association for Righteousness Advocacy on Leadership (ARAL) and Alliance for Rural and Agrarian Reconstruction Inc. (ARARO).

First to be saved by SC from being delisted is AKO Bicol which alleged in its petition that the Comelec allegedly "acted without and in excess of its jurisdiction" when it issued its resolutions last August 2 and October 10.

1-CARE had argued that Comelec should give credence to the SC's "decision with finality" that it is qualified to be a party list group.

It won two seats in Congress in 2010 polls and now being occupied by Representatives Michael Angelo Rivera and Salvador Cabaluna III.

The Alliance of Rural Concerns (ARC), which authored 630 bills, the highest number in the 14th Congress, is represented at the House in the previous Congress by Narciso Santiago 3rd, son of Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago.

The Association of Philippine Electric Cooperatives (APEC) challenged the Comelec's rulings, saying that it violated their rights to due process.

It claimed that the poll body failed to apply due process rules as it converted the matter to disqualification case.

Aside from Ako Bicol and several others, Agapay ng Indigenous Peoples Rights Alliance Inc. (A-IPRA), Kaagapay ng Nagkakaisang Aguilang Pilipinong Magsasaka (Ako Agila), Bantay, Alliance for Nationalism and Democracy (Anad), Philippine Guardian Brotherhood Inc. (1Bro-PGBI) and Guardians Nationalist Phils. Inc. (1Ganap/Guardians) were also saved by the SC from being barred to participate in the next year's party-list elections. (PNA)

FPV/PTR

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