MANILA, June 6 (Mabuhay) -– The Commission on Elections (Comelec) is studying the possible proclamation of groups which will occupy three of the remaining five seats in the party-list race, the poll body’s chief said Thursday.
Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr. announced this possible move after the Supreme Court issued a status quo ante order (SQAO) Wednesday ordering the poll body to refrain from implementing its May 10 resolution disqualifying the Coalition of Senior Citizens in the Philippines as a party-list group.
The SQAO also ordered the reserving of seats for Senior Citizens, which garnered around 600,000 votes in the mid-term polls. The high court, however, told Comelec to hold in abeyance the proclamation of Senior Citizens.
Another party-list group, Abang Lingkod, also secured a SQAO from the high court. However, the SQAO did not include reserving a seat for Abang Lingkod.
“Baka pwede na kaming mag-proklama. Dalawa lang naman ang pinarereserba ng Korte Suprema. Pinag-aaralan namin kung pwede kaming mag-proklama ng tatlo pa, kasi lima pa ‘yung bakante,” Brillantes said.
The SQAO superseded the blanket temporary restraining order (TRO) issued by Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno which told the Comelec to stop from proclaiming the five remaining winners in the party-list race.
The TRO was questioned by the Justice-in-charge in the case, Associate Justice Teresita Leonardo-de Castro, who said the halt order affected party-list groups not involved in the case.
The Comelec had already proclaimed 53 of the 58 winners in the party-list race, with 37 party-list groups snagging one or two seats in the 16th Congress. Only one party-list group, Buhay Hayaan Yumabong (BUHAY), managed to get three seats.
Brillantes appealed to the high court to issue a final ruling on the matter as soon as possible in order to finally put the party-list issue to rest.(MNS)