January 7, 2013
The newly formed workers party-list group Partido ng Manggagawa Coalition (PM COALITION) held a rally this morning at the Supreme Court to push for its petition asking the high court to overturn the Comelec’s disqualification. The SC is set to hold its first en banc session for the year tomorrow and may act on the petition then.
Bong Palad, PM COALITION president and secretary of the Philippine Airlines Employees’ Association (PALEA), said that “We appeal to the Supreme Court to be the court of last resort and remedy the erroneous decision of the Comelec on disqualifying a group that is truly representative of the labor sector. The Comelec had made a mess of the so-called cleansing of the party-list system by still accrediting numerous BOPALS (bogus party-lists).”
Some 60 members of PM COALITION joined the rally with some dressed up as workers holding brooms to signify the group’s advocacy of representing the labor sector and cleansing the party-list system.
PM COALITION also asked in its petition for a temporary restraining order (TRO) on the printing of ballots scheduled this January. In an additional motion PM COALITION sought a mandatory injunction to be included in the Comelec raffle of party list groups.
In an omnibus motion filed last January 3, PM Coalition also asked the SC to hold a special raffle for the petition the group earlier filed seeking to overturn the Comelec’s disqualification and to facilitate action on the TRO that it sought.
PM COALITION filed a petition with the SC before the holiday break after it was disqualified based on mere technicality and the poll body’s misinterpretation of the law. The group hopes it will get relief from the high tribunal after submitting substantial evidence supporting its petition for certiorari and eventual qualification as a legitimate party-list group.
In the assailed Comelec resolution denying the accreditation of PM Coalition, the poll body states:
“A careful perusal of the petition clearly shows that PM Coalition fell short of the requirement to be accredited as a sectoral coalition. While petitioner has extensively submitted documentary evidence to support its petition, it failed to consider a material requisite to seek registration as a coalition, that is, that its member organizations should be duly registered parties with this Commission.”
Palad said this particular Comelec resolution “was highly irregular and questionable” and therefore the offended party must be given due course before the poll body conducts the final printing of ballots.
“The Comelec’s half-serious purging of the partylist system has disqualified many groups but at the same time allowed many spurious groups and parties with no substantial qualifications to remain in the race,” he insisted.