Saturday, November 17, 2012

PETITION OF ALAM BEFORE SUPREME COURT CHALLENGING COMELEC



Republic of the Philippines
Supreme Court
Manila



ALAB NG MAMAMAHAYAG (ALAM)
represented by ATTY. BERTENI
CATALUÑA CAUSING,
Petitioner,

-versus-                                                          G.R. No. ___________
                                                                        [From: SPP NO. 12-127 (PL)]
                                                                       


COMMISSION ELECTIONS,
Respondent,
x--------------------------------------------------------x


Petitions
for
Review
and for
Certiorari, Prohibition and Mandamus
With Temporary Restraining Order (TRO)


Prologue


The Commission on Elections (Comelec) or any court has no right and no power to use “track record” as a basis for disapproving the application for accreditation by a group for the party-list elections of 2013 and thereafter.

In politics, “track record” is often used to determine the likelihood of how a candidate would perform in office when elected.  But it does not mean that a new politician who runs for the first time will not do excellently when voted for.

“Track record” is the exclusive domain of the voters for them to use to determine who they should vote.

“Track Record” is therefore a POLITICAL QUESTION that cannot be arrogated unto themselves by the courts and the Comelec.

Hence, it is forbidden to use “track record” to determine the qualifications of a party-list to run for office.

Qualification for the purpose of running for a public office is one thing.  On how a candidate will perform after the election is another.

            Moreover, the right of suffrage cannot be denied from a citizen qualified to vote or to be voted when he or she has established qualifications that are actually not determinative on how he or she will perform in office when elected.

Thus, it is enough that a candidate for President passed the requirements that he is able to read and write, aged 40 years or older, natural-born Filipino, and ten-year resident of the Philippines at the time of the election.  He is not required to submit proofs of college diplomas or track record if only to determine he will seek to uplift the lives of the citizens he seeks to represent.  JUDGMENT ON THE CANDIDATES’ “TRACK RECORD” IS FOR THE VOTERS TO DECIDE, WHETHER TO MAKE IT AS ONE OF THE BASES OR NOT.  If the Comelec were to require every presidential bet to show track record, then it is imposing its will on the electorate.

In the same manner, since there is no substantial distinction to separate party-list groups as a class on its own as against individuals as election candidates, any party-list group that has established minimum qualifications required by the Constitution and the law automatically qualifies to run in a party-list election.

Clearly, the Comelec or any court has no power and no right to use “track record” as additional qualification requirement to deny the application for accreditation of Alab ng Mamamahayag (ALAM).

After all, the term used is “accreditation” and not “qualification.”



The Petitions Proper


The undersigned petitioner respectfully files this Petition for Review and for Certiorari, Prohibition and Mandamus.


The Case


The instant case is a petition under Rule 64 and Rule 65 of the Rules of Court. This resulted from the resolution of the Second Division of the Comelec denying the application on the ground of “lack of track record,” and the resolution of the en banc majority (4-2) in affirming the ruling of the Second Division.

The subject matter of the petition was the application for accreditation of the Petitioner, Alab ng Mamamahayag (ALAM).

It is for review of the resolution of the Commission under Rule 64 because it is mandated under Rule 64.

It is also at the same time a petition under Rule 65 because of the existence of acts of grave abuse of discretion, marked by the anger of the Commissioners and Chairman who signed for the denial of the motion for reconsideration. 

This anger was born out of the expose by the petitioner of the attempted bribery of PhP3 million and this anger is reflected in the resolution being challenged.

The Parties



The petitioner, Alab ng Mamamahayag (ALAM), is registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and has filed an application for accreditation whose national existence as a national party-list group has been ruled by the Comelec Second Division and affirmed by the Comelec en banc as factually proven.

            ALAM can be served with notices and other processes at its counsel, Renta Pe  Causing Sabarre Castro & Associates, Unit 1, No.2368 Leon Guinto St. Corner JB Roxas St., Malate, Manila.

            The sole respondent is the Commission of Elections (COMELEC), which can be served with summons or subpoena and other notices at Palacio del Gobernador, Gen. Luna St. Corner Soriano St., Intramuros, Manila.


The Reasons for Allowance


Humbly speaking, this petition ought to be given due course because it complies with at least the minimum requirements of form and substance.

            As to the period of filing, it is filed within the reglementary period of thirty (30) days as mandated under Rule 64.

            As to the documents required, all are submitted in either original or certified true copies form.

            As to the filing fees, all are paid for by the petitioner.

            As to the substance, the matters sought to be reviewed are both the incorrect resolutions to a questions of law and the grave abuse of discretions are alleged and substantiated with documents.


The Antecedents



1.      On March 30, 2012, the petitioner filed its Petition for Accreditation. A copy without annexes is attached hereto as ANNEX “A.”

2.      On 10 April 2012, the petitioner filed its Amended Petition. A copy without annexes is attached hereto as ANNEX “B.”

3.      On 10 April 2012, the petitioner filed a manifestation to submit some documents inadvertently left out during the filing of the petition. A copy without annexes is attached hereto as ANNEX “C.”

4.      On 27 April 2012, the respondent issued an Order directing the publication of the order, the petition, manifestation of instant to participate, list of nominees and certificate of nominations. A copy of the order is attached hereto as ANNEX “D.”

5.      On 17 May 2012, the Petition submitted Manifestation for Submission of Publication Documents and Summary of Exhibits and witnesses. A copy without annexes is attached hereto as ANNEX “E.”

6.      On 17 May 2012, the hearing before the Second Division was held at 5:00 pm  presenting the main witness, Atty. Berteni C. Causing, and the exhibit and affidavits were marked.

7.      On 22 May 2012, the petitioner filed its Memorandum with Offer of Exhibits. A copy without annexes is attached as ANNEX “F.”

8.      On 20 September 2012 , the petitioner received the resolution promulgated by the respondent on 12 September 2012. A copy of the resolution is attached hereto as ANNEX “G.”

9.      On 24 September, 2012, the petitioner filed its Motion for Reconsideration. A copy is attached hereto as ANNEX “H.”

10.   On 28 September 2012, the petitioner filed its Supplemental Motion for Reconsideration. A copy of the Supplemental Motion for Reconsideration without annexes (which were attached to that  memorandum filed later) is attached hereto as ANNEX “I.”

11.  On 1 October 2012, the en banc hearing for the Motion for Reconsideration was conducted and witness Edwin R. Alcala and Jerry D. Yap were presented.

12.  The Comelec en banc directed the petitioner to file its memorandum incorporating therein all exhibits and affidavits.

13.  On 4 October 2012, the petitioner filed the memorandum required by the Comelec. A copy with annexes is attached hereto as ANNEX “J.”

14.  On 12 November 2012, the petitioner received a Resolution promulgated 7 November 2012. A copy of the resolution and its cover page is attached hereto as ANNEX “K.”

15.  The pertinent part of the Resolution where it denied ALAM’s motion for reconsideration states:

ALAM argues in its motion that the absence of a track record is not a ground to deny registration, since it is not expressly required by Republic Act No. 7941 (“Party-list System Act”).  Even if the Supreme Court mentioned ‘track record’ in Ang Bagong Bayani-OFW Labor Party v. COMELEC (“Ang Bagong Bayani), it did not intend to make such requirement mandatory.  ALAM argues further that assuming a track record is indeed required, the evidence it submitted was sufficient to establish their track record.

            ALAM also included in their Motion for Reconsideration an allegation of “attempted bribery of Three Million Pesos (Pup 3,000,000.00)” involving top COMELEC executives.

            The motion must be denied.  The Commission affirms the Second Division in declaring that a track record is required, and finds the evidence submitted by ALAM insufficient to establish its track record.  As to the issue of extortion, the allegation is unsubstantiated, and a motion for reconsideration is not the proper remedy.


The track record requirement
is mandatory and must be
complied with

            ALAM submitted their Securities and Exchange Commission Certificate of Registration, Constitution and By-Laws, Platform of Government, declarations of support from various groups, and affidavits of declaration of existence in the different regions of the Philippines, and photographs showing the organization’s get-togethers.

            While the evidence shows that ALAM exists as a national organization, it fails to present any program or activity that the organization actually carried out to advance the interests of its members and the sector it seeks to represent.  Most of ALAM’s claims pertain to unsubstantiated promises, plans, and intentions to be implemented at some future time.  The following are excerpts taken from ALAM’s petition for registration:

“...ALAM intends to sponsor and push bills in the Congress requiring more legal and judicial notice publications to increase the number of beneficiary news weeklies, for a law that increases imprisonment for the crime of threats issue by any person against the members of the Press..”

 “ALAM seeks to build human infrastructure among the tribesmen by training them to become effective journalists for their tribes so that all events that happen in their mountains are reported to the public.”

            The language of the Court is clear: a party must be able to show that it represents the marginalized and underrepresented through its constitution, articles of incorporation, bylaws, history, platform of government, and track record. The Court articulated this as follows:

 “The Court, therefore deems it proper to remand the case to the Comelec for the latter to determine, after summary hearings, whether the 154 parties and organizations allowed to participate in the party-list elections comply with the requirements of the law.  In this light, the Court finds it appropriate to lay down the following guidelines, culled from the law and the Constitution, to assist the Comelec in its work.

“First, the political party, sector, organization or coalition must represent the marginalized and underrepresented groups identified in Section 5 of RA 7941.  In other words, it must show – through its constitution, articles of incorporation, bylaws, history, platform of government and track record – that it represents and seeks to uplift marginalized and underrepresented sectors.  Verily, majority of its membership should belong to the marginalized and underrepresented.  And it must demonstrate that in a conflict of interests, it has chosen or is likely to choose the interest of such sectors.”

            Contrary to ALAM’s theory, the guideline espoused in Ang Bagong Bayani is not merely recommendatory, but mandatory.  ALAM cannot bend the Court’s ruling just to accommodate its own inadequacy.  There is no doubt that jurisprudence forms part of the law of the land.  The legal basis for this is Article 8 of the Civil Code...

            ...As such, ALAM should have complied with the requirements set forth in Ang Bagong Bayani, even if “track record” was not explicitly required under the Party-list law.


The multi-sector which ALAM
seeks to represent is too broad
and unrelated with one another,
defeating the purpose
of the Party-list System Act


            In its amended Petition for Registration for Party-list Elections, ALAM applied as a “POLITICAL PARTY composed of qualified voters pursuing the same principles for the general conduct of the government, which principles are the beliefs that TOTAL and GENUINE FREE PRESS and PEOPLE’S JUSTICE SYSTEM (GRAND JURY and TRIAL JURY SYSTEMS) can the Philippines (sic).” It included in the sectors that it seeks to represent, community print journalists in provinces, broadcast journalist in the provinces and Metro Manila, newsdealers, sellers, and newsboys, tribesmen who learned to love the liberty of press and cry for ancestral lands, urban poor/informal settlers, drivers and small-time operators of transport units, the labor sector, jury system advocates.

            There is no prohibition on multi-sectoral representation in the party-list system, but such practice disregards the delineation of the sectors provided by the Constitution and the law.  Each sector is unique, needing specialized attention.  In light of the Constitution and the law, one must always ask whether the organization is capable of serving fully all the sectors it seeks to represent.

            ALAM’s claim alludes to a ‘scattershot strategy’ that has no focus or direction. More sectors may equate to a bigger pool of votes for a party-list organization come election day, but it entails greater responsibility and commitment as well.  ALAM’s intention may be noble; however, it failed to establish to the satisfaction of the Commission that it has substantially helped the said sectors.  The Commission is hard-pressed to assess how the organization will advance the interests of its constituency, in the absence of its track record.



            On 24 September 2012, an article appearing in Manila Herald reported “ALAM is set to expose a P3-million extortion attempt by an official of the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) for the accreditation of the organization as a party-list group in the forthcoming local elections next year.” The article mentioned that the COMELEC official was identified only as a certain “JR”, who offered to help ALAM in ensuring its accreditation in exchange for three “apples”, referring to Three Million Pesos.

            The Commission finds utter bad faith on the part of ALAM for belatedly reporting the issue—weeks after the Second Division promulgated the resolution dismissing their petition.  It seems that ALAM is using this as leverage to pressure the Commission into granting their petition for accreditation.

            ALAM admitted in its Supplemental Motion for Reconsideration that ALAM “does not have any evidence to point that the two commissioners were directly involved in the bribery. During the hearing on the motion for reconsideration, Jerry Yap and Edwin Alcala, ALAM’s chairman and secretary general respectively, admitted that the allegation of extortion against the Commissioners were not supported by evidence.  In fact, both attested to the innocence of the members of the Second Division...

            ...The battle against graft and corruption is the duty of both the government and the private sector. It is incumbent upon the citizenry to report such instances at the earliest time.  More is expected of an organization and its officers who are aspiring to serve the Filipinos in Congress as regards initiative and accountability against graft and corruption.  By not asking for an investigation on the matter the soonest possible time, the Commission is led to believe that ALAM would not have reported the incident had their petition for accreditation been granted by the Commission.

            ALAM failed to refute the track record requirement and establish its own track record.  Further, its allegation of extortion, motivated by bad faith and unsupported by evidence, finds no place in a motion for reconsideration.

WHEREFORE, premises considered, the Commission RESOLVED, as it hereby RESOLVES, to DENY ALAM’S Motion for Reconsideration.  The Resolution of the Second Division dated 12 September 2012 DISMISSING ALAM’S Petition for Registration is hereby AFFIRMED.

SO ORDERED.


                       

16.  Four members of the Commission signed for the denial of the motion for reconsideration and they are Chairman Sixto S. Brilliants, Jr., Commissioner Rene V. Sarmiento, Commissioner Lucenito N. Tagle, and Commissioner Armando C. Velasco.

17.  Two members of the Commission voted in favour of the Motion for Reconsideration and they are Commissioner Elias R. Yusoph and Commissioner Christian Robert S. Lim.

18.  Commissioner Ma. Gracia Cielo M. Padaca did not participate.

19.  While it shows that the date of promulgation of the resolution is 7 November 2012, the Comelec already issued announcement as early as 29 October 2012 that petitioner ALAM was already ruled by en banc as disqualified.

20.  On 29 October 2012 and on 30 October 2012, newspaper and other media outlets published online, on paper and on air news articles reporting that Comelec Chairman Sixto S. Brillantes Jr. and Comelec Commissioner Rene V. Sarmiento announced the disqualification of ALAM and gave reasons that the disqualification was due to the “lack of track record” and the act of exposing the PhP3-million bribery attempted by the employers of the Comelec.

21.  In the same news reports, Brillantes and Sarmiento put too much weight on the attempted bribery, showing the Commission’s officials anger at petitioner ALAM.

22.  These news reports gathered online are the following:

a.      Inquirer – “Comelec disqualifies Mikey Arroyo’s Ang Galing Pinoy,” written by Fat Reyes, posted on 30 October 2012, 5:05 pm., whose website is: http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/298524/Comelec-disqualifies-mikey-arroyos-ang-galing-pinoy;

b.      Sunstar Manila—“Comelec rejects Alam party-list anew,” posted on 30 October 2012, whose website is : http://www.sunstar.com.ph/manila/localnews/2012/10/30/comelec-rejects-alam-party-list-anew-250540?sort=desc&order=Game;


c.       Blak Pearl Daily News Brief – “Mikey Arroyo’s party-list disqualified from 2013 polls,” posted on 30 October 2012, 2:03 p.m., whose website is:  http://blackpearl.com.ph/content.php?id=34189;

d.     DZMM—“Ang Galing Pinoy party-list ni Mikey Arroyo, dinisqualify na ng Comelec,” posted by DZMM.COM.PH at 21:50 of 30 October 2012, whose website is http://dzmm.abs-cbnnews.com/news/National/Ang-Galing-Pinoy-Partylist-ni-Mikey-Arroyo-dinisqualify-na-ng Comelec.html;

e.      ABS-CBNnews.com -- “Comelec formally discqualities Mikey’sparty,” written by RG Cruz, at 30 October 2012 at 4:47p.m., whose website is located at: http://rp1.abs-cbnnews.com/nation/10/30/12/comelec-formalize-disqualification-mikey%E2%80%99s-party;

f.        Journal Group of Publications – “Mikey, group disqualified,” written by Lee Ann Ducusin and posted on 31 October 2012,whose website is: http://www.journal.com.ph/index.php/news/headlines/40642-mikey-group-disqualified.


g.      UNTV News – “Ang Galing Pinoy at isa Pang Partylist Group Tanggal na rin sa Listahan ng Comelec,” posted 31 October 2012, whose website is: http://www.untvbweb.com/news/ang-galing-pinoy-at-isa-pang-partylist-group-tanggal-na-rin-sa-listahan-ng-comelec/;

h.      Philippine News – “Comelec DQs Mikey Arroyo’s ang Galing Pinoy,” posted on 31 October 2012 October 2012, whose website is: http://www.philippinenews.ca/comelec-dqs-mikey-arroyos-ang-galing-pinoy/;


i.        Balita — “Comelec denies Alam’s appeal,” posted on 30 October 2012 whose website is: http://balita.ph/2012/10/30/comelec-denies-alams-appeal/;

j.        The Manila Times — “Comelec affirms decision vs. Mikey party-list,” posted on 31 October 2012, whose website is : http://www.manilatimes.net/index.php/news/top-stories/34363- comelec-affirms-decision-vs-mikey-party-list;

k.      Yahoo!News — “Mikey Arroyo’s party-list disqualified from 2013 polls,” posted 30 October 2012, whose website is : http://ph.news.yahoo.com/mikey-arroyos-party-list-disqualified-2013-polls-061209269.html;

l.        Bombo Radio Philippines — “Mikey, partylist ng mediamen pinal nang inalis,” whose website is: http://www.bomboradio.com/story-of-the-day/137406-mikey-artylist-ng-mediaman-pinal-nang-inalis;

m.   PTV News — “Comelec Disqualifies ang Galing Pinoy, Alam partylist,” posted 30 October 2012, whose website is: http://ptvnews.ph/index.php/bottom-news-life/11-11-nation-submenu/6898-comelec-disqualifies-ang-galing-pinoy-alam-party-list;

n.      GMA News — “Pary-list group ni Mikey, tinunaw ng Comelec; pati grupo ng media, di rin umubra,” posted 30 October 2012, whose website is: http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/story/280299/ulatfilipino/balitangpinoy/party-list-group-ni-mikey-tinunaw-ng-comelec-pati-grupo-ng-media-di-rin-umubra; and

o.      Dozens of otheres news websites also published the disqualification of ALAM on 30 October 2012 or 31 October 2012.

23.  As part of its motion for reconsideration, the petitioner exposed the attempted bribery of PhP3 million committed by two officials of the Comelec, asking for that amount in exchange for the accreditation of ALAM to the party-list election of 2013.

24.  This exploded grabbing headlines, as proven by some of the following:

a.      GMA News – “Journalists group accused unnamed Comelec officer of bribery,” posted 24 Sept. 2012, whose website is : http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/story/27548/news/nation/journalist-group-accuses-unnamed-comelec-officer-of-bribery;

b.      OFWMagazine.com — “Journalist group accuses unnamed Comelec Officer of bribery,” posted on 24 September 2012, whose website is: http://www.ofwmagazine.com/2012/09/24/journalist-group-accuses-unnamed-comelc-officer-of-bribery/;


25.  This revelation led Commissioner Elias Yusoph and Commissioner Lucenito Tagle to issue statements they were suing ALAM officials for libel;

26.  One published report about the threat to sue for libel is published by Bombo Radyo Philippines, entitled “Nagbibintang ng extortion sa Comelec Exec, kakasuhan ng libel, “posted on 26 Sept. 2012 on this website: http://www.bomboradyo.com/news/latest-news/132247-nagbibintang-ng-extortion-sa-comelec-exec-kakasuhan-ng-libel.

27.  During the hearing of ALAM on 1 October 2012, its officials Jerry S. Yap and Edwin R. Alcala testified under oath and made it clear that the officials of the Comelec who talked to the latter were one JR Raneses and one Eric.

28.  Witness Alcala made it clear in his testimonies that he did not see or did not have any means of knowing whether Commissioner Lucenito Tagle and Commissioner Elias Yusoph were indeed behind JR Raneses and Eric.

29.  The judicial affidavits of Mr. Yap and Mr. Alcala that were offered during the hearing of the motion for reconsideration were attached as integral parts of Memorandum filed by ALAM in pursuance of its motion for reconsideration.

30.  Then the Comelec announced it suspended and sued the two Comelec employees named by ALAM for grave misconduct.

31.  That act of the Comelec in using the affidavits of Mr. Alcala and Mr. Yap is a manifestation that the Commission believed in and gave weight to the testimonies given by Mr. Alcala and Mr. Yap during the hearing of the motion for reconsideration.

32.  The suspension and charges slapped against Enrique “Eric” de Jesus and Rogelio “JR” Raneses has been announced no less than by the Comelec.

33.  Among the publications of the announcement of the charges and suspension are as follows:

a.      Malaya – “2 Comelec workers in bribery rap,” posted on 1 Nov. 2012, whose website is: http://www.malaya.com.ph/index.php/news/nation/164734-2-workers-in-bribery-rap;

b.      Manila Bulletin – “2 suspended over partylist bribe,” posted on 31 October 2012, whose website is : http://www3.mb.com.ph/articles/379486/2-suspended-over-partylist-bribe#UKJvc2f4K1p; and

c.       Philippines Star – “2 Comelec employees suspended over bribery accusation,” posted on 1 Nov. 2012, whose website is: http://www.philstar.com/headlines/2012/11/01/862192–comelec-employees-suspended-over-bribery-accusation; and

d.     Sun Star—“2 poll employees charged with grave misconduct,” posted 31 Oct. 2012, at this website: http://50.28.66.118/breaking-news/2012/10/31/2-poll-employees-charged-grave-misconduct-250680?sort=desc&order=Game.


34.  The petitioner takes judicial notice of many rulings done by the Comelec that disqualified other party-list applicants and existing accredited party-list groups, as sufficient to say that the Comelec has gone riot.


The Issues and Errors


            With due respect to the Commission on Elections and the Honorable Court, the petitioner cites grave abuse of discretion on the part of the Chairman and Commissioners who voted to deny the motion for reconsideration of the petitioner.

            Generally, the petitioner imputes grave abuse of discretion or error on the part of the Commission in applying “track record” as a law when it is only stated as one of the guidelines in Ang Bagong Bayani case, G.R. No. 147589, promulgated on 26 June 2001.

            Specifically, the petitioner brings forth this petition, questioning whether or not the respondent Comelec erred and committed grave abuse of discretion in:

1.      Taking “track record” as the sole basis in disqualifying party-list group ALAM and other party-list groups from running in the 2013 elections and succeeding elections when it is not a law but a mere guideline directed under the same Ang Bagong Bayani case;

2.      Assuming “track record” as a law, defining “track record” as to be measured for one year when there is nothing in the same Ang Bagong Bayani case that says it must be for one year;

3.      Assuming “track record” as a law, defining “track record” as one that includes acts done for the benefit of the sectors it wishes to represent as proof that it seeks to uplift the lives of the sectors it wishes to represent;

4.      Requiring “track record” when the Constitution and the Party-list Law do not require “track record,” the finding alone that it is a party-list must be sufficient and to require it is unconstitutional and contrary to the Party-list Law;

5.      Requiring “track record” when this is a POLITICAL QUESTION for the voters to consider and not for the Comelec or the court to arrogate unto itself;

6.      Requiring “track record” as an additional qualification requirement when doing so would violate EQUAL PROTECTION CLAUSE that if no track record is required of a candidate for President, Vice-President, Senator, District Representative, Governor, Vice-Governor, Board Member, Mayor, Vice-Mayor or Councilor, the same should apply on party-list group;

7.      Requiring “track record” when the evil sought to be prevented can be remedied by scrutiny of membership and strict application of the provision on qualifications for nominees; and

8.      Not finding sufficient evidence of “track record” assuming it is indeed required.

The Discussions


Track record mere guideline
or recommendatory


            The “track record” stated in Ang Bagong Bayani case is clearly not intended as a law but a mere guideline or a directory that may be considered by the Comelec as a guide in determining whether to accredit a party-list applicant.

            That is because the language of the Court in decreeing Ang Bagong Bayani case is plain and clear that it is merely a guideline.

            Let the pertinent part of Ang Bagong Bayani case be restated:

Guidelines for Screening Party-List Participants

The Court, therefore, deems it proper to remand the case to the Comelec for the latter to determine, after summary evidentiary hearings,  whether the 154 parties and organizations allowed to participate in the party-list elections comply with the requirements of the law.  In this light,  the Court finds it appropriate to lay down the following guidelines, culled from the law and the Constitution, to assist the Comelec in its work.

First, the political party, sector, organization or coalition must represent the marginalized and underrepresented groups identified in Section 5 of RA 7941.   In other words, it must show -- through its constitution, articles of incorporation, bylaws, history, platform of government and track record -- that it represents and seeks to uplift marginalized and underrepresented sectors.  Verily, majority of its membership should belong to the marginalized and underrepresented.  And it must demonstrate that in a conflict of interests, it has chosen or is likely to choose the interest of such sectors.


            Guidelines can never be defined as a law by any dictionary.  Guidelines may be disregarded.  To the contrary, there is no law or legal literature that says that “guidelines” must have the force of a law.

            The fact that track record is not found in the Constitution and the Party-list Law as a qualification requirement bolsters the contention that the “track record” stated among the enumerated factors  is but a guideline and not a law.

            Thus, it is clearly grave abuse of discretion and an error for the Comelec to state in its ruling, as follows:

Contrary to ALAM’s theory, the guideline espoused in Ang Bagong Bayani is not merely recommendatory, but mandatory.  ALAM cannot bend the Court’s ruling just to accommodate its own inadequacy.  There is no doubt that jurisprudence forms part of the law of the land.  The legal basis for this is Article 8 of the Civil Code...

            ...As such, ALAM should have complied with the requirements set forth in Ang Bagong Bayani, even if “track record” was not explicitly required under the Party-list law.
           

            The contention that it is an act of grave abuse of discretion is not only proven by the fact that there is nothing in the law and the Constitution that requires “track record.”  It is also found in the action of the chairman and three commissioners of the Comelec in citing the action of the petitioner’s officials of exposing the attempted PhP3-million bribery.  This is proven by its statements in the same resolution, to wit:

On 24 September 2012, an article appearing in Manila Herald reported “ALAM is set to expose a P3-million extortion attempt by an official of the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) for the accreditation of the organization as a party-list group in the forthcoming local elections next year.” The article mentioned that the COMELEC official was identified only as a certain “JR”, who offered to help ALAM in ensuring its accreditation in exchange for three “apples”, referring to Three Million Pesos.

            The Commission finds utter bad faith on the part of ALAM for belatedly reporting the issue—weeks after the Second Division promulgated the resolution dismissing their petition.  It seems that ALAM is using this as leverage to pressure the Commission into granting their petition for accreditation.

            ALAM admitted in its Supplemental Motion for Reconsideration that ALAM “does not have any evidence to point that the two commissioners were directly involved in the bribery. During the hearing on the motion for reconsideration, Jerry Yap and Edwin Alcala, ALAM’s chairman and secretary general respectively, admitted that the allegation of extortion against the Commissioners were not supported by evidence.  In fact, both attested to the innocence of the members of the Second Division...

            ...The battle against graft and corruption is the duty of both the government and the private sector. It is incumbent upon the citizenry to report such instances at the earliest time.  More is expected of an organization and its officers who are aspiring to serve the Filipinos in Congress as regards initiative and accountability against graft and corruption.  By not asking for an investigation on the matter the soonest possible time, the Commission is led to believe that ALAM would not have reported the incident had their petition for accreditation been granted by the Commission.

            ALAM failed to refute the track record requirement and establish its own track record.  Further, its allegation of extortion, motivated by bad faith and unsupported by evidence, finds no place in a motion for reconsideration.


Defining track record as for one year
error and grave abuse of discretion


It is also a clear grave abuse of discretion on the part of the Comelec to define “track record” as to be measured for one year.

This is so because there is nothing in the same Ang Bagong Bayani case that says it must be for one year.

When there is none, it is ultra vires for the Comelec to require one-year track record.

As such, it is very clear that there was grave abuse of discretion on the part of the Comelec.


Defining track record as acts done for
the benefit of the members of the sectors
ALAM seeks to represent is
grave abuse of discretion



It is also a clear grave abuse of discretion on the part of the Comelec to define “track record” as those acts done for the benefit of members of the sectors the petitioner seeks to represent.

This is so because there is nothing in the same Ang Bagong Bayani case that says it must be the doing of those acts that benefitted members of the sectors the petitioner seeks to represent.

When there is none, it is again ultra vires for the Comelec to require the showing of those acts done to the benefit of members of the sectors the petitioner seeks to represent.

As such, it is very clear that there was grave abuse of discretion on the part of the Comelec.

Requiring track record when
it is not required by
the Constitution and the law


The Constitution and the Party-list Law do not require “track record” as another qualification for a party-list group to be registered or accredited to run for the party-list election of 2013.

It is elementary for any lawyer to know that if the Constitution and the law do not require any qualification, it cannot be imposed by an implementing agency or body.

The Constitutional provisions on the party-list election states are as follows:

Section 5. (1) The House of Representatives shall be composed of not more than two hundred and fifty members, unless otherwise fixed by law, who shall be elected from legislative districts apportioned among the provinces, cities, and the Metropolitan Manila area in accordance with the number of their respective inhabitants, and on the basis of a uniform and progressive ratio, and those who, as provided by law, shall be elected through a party-list system of registered national, regional, and sectoral parties or organizations.

(2) The party-list representatives shall constitute twenty per centum of the total number of representatives including those under the party list. For three consecutive terms after the ratification of this Constitution, one-half of the seats allocated to party-list representatives shall be filled, as provided by law, by selection or election from the labor, peasant, urban poor, indigenous cultural communities, women, youth, and such other sectors as may be provided by law, except the religious sector.

There is no dispute that the Constitution leaves it to the Congress to enact a law for the purpose of implementing the party-list election.

In compliance, the Congress enacted Republic Act 7941, and the pertinent provision material to the issue at bar is found in Section 5 therein, to wit:

    Sec. 5. Registration. - Any organized group of persons may register as a party, organization or coalition for purposes of the party-list system by filing with the COMELEC not later than ninety (90) days before the election a petition verified by its president or secretary stating its desire to participate in the party-list system as a national, regional or sectoral party or organization or a coalition of such parties or organizations, attaching thereto its constitution, by-laws, platform or program of government, list of officers, coalition agreement and other relevant information as the COMELEC may require: provided, that the sectors shall include labor, peasant, fisherfolk, urban poor, indigenous cultural communities, elderly, handicapped, women, youth, veterans, overseas workers, and professionals.


Reading the law, it is very clear it does not provide for “track record” as another qualification requirement.

If at all, the language of the law that vests in the COMELEC to require relevant information must be referring only to the information that are in the class of what are enumerated.

What is common among the constitution, by-laws, platform or program of government, list of officers and coalition agreement is that they are requirements that tend to prove the existence of the group.   These do not refer to how the party-list group should perform in office when elected.

Upon the other hand, it is very clear “track record” refers to how the party-list group concerned would perform in office.  It is therefore very clear that “track record” is not included in the enumeration of qualification requirements set by Section 5 of RA 7941.

With more reason that the Comelec must not consider “track record” as a law because the Ang Bagong Bayani case from where it drew support does not even say that the guidelines where track record is stated must be a law to be followed.

Again, it is very clear that guidelines is mere recommendatory.

For doing otherwise and as evidenced by the anger over the PhP3-million bribery attempt, it is very clear that the Comelec committed grave abuse of discretion.


Track record is a POLITICAL QUESTION


The matter of a “track record” of any candidate for any political position is a POLITICAL QUESTION.

As stated above, it is very clear that track record must be reserved for the voters.  It is up for the voters to consider or not track record of a candidate in voting.

Being a political question, the Comelec or the court cannot arrogate unto itself that power to use “track record” to impose its will upon the voters.

As such, the Comelec or any court has no right and no power to use “track record” as a basis for disapproving the application for accreditation by a group for the party-list elections of 2013 and thereafter.

In politics, “track record” is often used to determine the likelihood of how a candidate would perform in office when elected.  But it does not mean that a new politician who runs for the first time will not do excellently when voted for.

“Track record” is the exclusive domain of the voters for them to use to determine who they should vote.

“Track Record” is therefore a POLITICAL QUESTION that cannot be arrogated unto themselves by the courts and the Comelec.

Hence, it is forbidden to use “track record” to determine the qualifications of a party-list to run for office.

Qualification for the purpose of running for a public office is one thing.  On how a candidate will perform after the election is another.

            Moreover, the right of suffrage cannot be denied from a citizen qualified to vote or to be voted when he or she has established qualifications that are actually not determinative on how he or she will perform in office when elected.

Thus, it is enough that a candidate for President passed the requirements that he is able to read and write, aged 40 years or older, natural-born Filipino, and ten-year resident of the Philippines at the time of the election.   He is not required to submit proofs of college diplomas or track record if only to determine he will seek to uplift the lives of the citizens he seeks to represent.  JUDGMENT ON THE CANDIDATES’ “TRACK RECORD” IS FOR THE VOTERS TO DECIDE, WHETHER TO MAKE IT AS ONE OF THE BASES OR NOT.  If the Comelec were to require every presidential bet to show track record, then it is imposing its will on the electorate.

            Taking a cue from the discourses above, IT IS SUFFICENT THAT THE PARTYLIST GROUP’S EXISTENCE IS ESTABLISHED for it to be accredited to participate in the party-list elections.

To still require “track record” is an intrusion into the discretions of the voters.

            Because the Comelec did otherwise, it committed a big error. This error was committed in grave abuse of discretion manner when it used “track” record as a means to vent its anger on ALAM for exposing the PhP3-million attempted bribery.


Violation of Equal Protection Clause;
Other means of scrutiny available


The alikes must be treated alike.  This is the spirit of the equal protection clause.

Knowing this, party-list groups applying for registration or accreditation to the party-list elections must be treated in the same way as the candidates for President, Vice-President, Senator, District Representative, Governor, Vice-Governor, Board Member, Mayor, Vice-Mayor or Councilor.

If there is no “track record” qualification requirement for these human beings as candidates for elective posts, there is also no legal reason or justification to require “track record” qualification for those party-list groups applying to participate in party-list elections.

There is also no substantial distinction between the human beings as candidates and the party-list groups as candidates, which will be represeted by its nominees who are also human beings.

Actually, there is nothing that can be thought about as “substantial distinctions” in the party-list groups that they should be treated as a separate class than other political candidates.

To the contrary, party-list groups have right of suffrage that is limited to the right to run for membership in the House of Representatives.  It cannot vote in elections but it can be voted to that position only.  The groups are presumed to be marginalized and underrepresented so that there is more reason that the qualification requirements must not be made so stringent or that they should not be burdened with qualification requirements not stated in the law or in the Constitution.

What is at stake here is THE FUNDAMENTAL RIGHT OF SUFFRAGE GRANTED BY THE CONSTITUTION TO THE PARTY-LIST GROUPS. 

With the fact that the fundamental right of suffrage is involved, the burden of proof to show that the regulation to require “track record” as an additional qualification is lawful and that the means of regulation will substantially serve the end is on the part of the State.  Additionally, the rule of strict scrutiny is applied here.

In this case, it is understandable that the purpose is obviously to determine whether the groups applying for registration are really belonging to the “marginalized and the underrepresented.”  CERTAINLY, THERE ARE MEANS OTHER THAN REQUIRING “TRACK RECORD” that are not oppressive and not discriminatory for an applicant to be determined as a genuine party-list group.

RA 7941 is requiring the submission only of the following:

1.      Constitution;
2.      By-laws;
3.      Platform or Program of Government;
4.      List of Officers;
5.      Coalition Agreement; and
6.      Other relevant information as the COMELEC

To be clear, let Section 5 of RA 7941 be re-quoted:

    Sec. 5. Registration. - Any organized group of persons may register as a party, organization or coalition for purposes of the party-list system by filing with the COMELEC not later than ninety (90) days before the election a petition verified by its president or secretary stating its desire to participate in the party-list system as a national, regional or sectoral party or organization or a coalition of such parties or organizations, attaching thereto its constitution, by-laws, platform or program of government, list of officers, coalition agreement and other relevant information as the COMELEC may require: provided, that the sectors shall include labor, peasant, fisherfolk, urban poor, indigenous cultural communities, elderly, handicapped, women, youth, veterans, overseas workers, and professionals.


As explained above, the “other information” requirement means CANNOT INCLUDE TRACK RECORD.

Rather, the “other relevant information” may include other proofs of existence of the organization, like submission of the names of the members, affidavits of existence of chapters, and proofs that the members really belong to the groups being stated by the applicants as the groups they represent.

In the case of ALAM, it submitted the list of more than 30,000 members with addresses that can be verified and whose status as a voter can also be verified from the database of the Comelec.

ALAM also submitted photographs, affidavits of organizations of chapters in majority of the regions of the country, and presented its Facebook page that lists 8,657 members, that can be verified at this site:  https://www.facebook.com/groups/319513714759341/.  In fact, these photographs are uploaded into this Facebook page that can be accessed at https://www.facebook.com/groups/319513714759341/photos/.

For sure, the fact that ALAM took the pains of organizing chapters in eleven (11) regions, took the pains of organizing city, provincial and district chapters in Metro Manila and nearby provinces.  Are these not indications that ALAM is a genuine party-list group?

For sure, the Constitution and RA 7941 do not prohibit newly-organized party-list groups from getting accreditation.  Stated otherwise, the Constitution and RA 7941 do not require age for party-list groups.

If age is required, NO PARTY-LIST GROUP CAN QUALIFY AT THE FIRST INSTANCE THAT THE PARTY-LIST SYSTEM OF ELECTION WAS IMPLEMENTED.

ADDITIONALLY, it is also a violation of the equal protection clause to require that a party-list applicant must show “that it represents and seeks to uplift marginalized and underrepresented sectors” when those running for a district congressman is not required to show that he or she represent the district and seeks to uplift the people of the district.

Having said so, it is the position of the petitioner that the Comelec erred and committed grave abuse of discretion in MAKING AS A SOLE JUSTIFICATION TO DENY THE APPLICATION OF ALAM that alleged lack of “track record” and alleged failure to show “that it represents and seeks to uplift marginalized and underrepresented sectors.”


Sufficient proofs of “track record”


This discourse is assuming that track record is indeed a valid additional requirement.

If two commissioners—Commissioner Christian Robert S. Lim and Commissioner Elias R. Yusoph—found sufficient proofs of track record, it cannot be imagined why the four others found the proofs as insufficient.

In fact, assuming that indeed track record is required, there are more than sufficient evidence to say that the petitioner has proven a track record to represent and seek to uplift marginalized and underrepresented sectors. 

Other than that, ALAM submitted individual track records of its chairman Jerry Sia Yap, its president Berteni Cataluña Causing, and its secretary general Edwin Roño Alcala.

The track records of its chairman Jerry S. Yap concern his accomplishments as president of National Press Club for the term 2010 to 2012, accomplishments as a daily opinion writer and publisher of Hataw tabloid newspaper, personal records in helping the families of slain journalists and in seeking justice for them particularly the Ampatuan massacre on November 23, 2009 and the Dr. Gerry “Doc Gerry” Ortega murder on January 24, 2011, the organization of ALAM as a group-in-fact immediately after the death of Ortega, personal records in helping marginalized people through his opinion columns, personal record of filing a complaint against Kalinga Governor Jocel Baac for smashing a michrophonee on the mouth of radio journalist Jermoe Tabanganay inside an announcer’s booth and the complaint led to the Office of the President suspending the governor for one month, among others.    These are contained in the judicial affidavit of Mr. Yap attached as Exhibit “D” to the Memorandum submitted to the Commission en banc.  These were also testified to by Yap  before the Commission en banc. 

The track records of its president Berteni Cataluña Causing concern his experience as a sportswriter, deskman and news editor of People’s Journal Tonight from 1989 up to 2004, his experience as the managing editor of Kabayan English tabloid from 2004 up to 2005, his educational resume, the book he wrote entitled “Simplied Libel Law in the Philippines” that he dedicated to the lovers of press freedom, his accomplishments in defending journalists against libel cases, he wrote the petition to the Supreme Court asking that only fines shall be imposed in case of libel convictions and the High Court issued Circular 08-2008, he was the lead strategist for National Press Club in its cases with the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS), and many others.   The judicial-affidavit of Atty. Causing was offered as Exhibit “H” of the Memorandum submitted to the Commission en banc.

The track records of Mr. Alcala, consisting in the main his works as a labor leader and organizer during the Marcos era and his being a photojournalist, were also presented and thesee were contained in his judicial-affidavit marked as Exhibit “B” of the Memorandum submitted to the Commission en banc.

Then ALAM submitted the list of members numbering 30,503 persons, broken down as follows: (a) Metro Manila – 5,226; (b) Manila – 7,384; (c) provinces – 10,410; and (d) 7,483.   These big numbers of membership are in themselves a big track record of ALAM’s strong intention to represent and seek to uplift the lives of the marginalized sectors it seeks to represent.  Of course, if ALAM has no intention to represent and seek to uplift the marginalized and underrepresented sectors it seeks to represent, it will not go this long to recruit 30,503 members.

The Platform of Government of ALAM is also another evidence of strong intention of the petitioner to represent and seek to uplift the lives of the marginalized sectors it seeks to represent.

The Constitution and By-Laws of ALAM are also another evidence of strong intention of the petitioner to represent and seek to uplift the lives of the marginalized and underrepresented sectors it seeks to represent.

The history of the petitioner as written in its petition for registration is also another strong piece of evidence to show its intention to represent and seek to uplift the marginalized and underrepresented sectors it seeks to represent.

The photos of activities, including the feeding programs, sports activities and others, done by ALAM in various places are in themselves also sufficient to show that intention to represent and seek to uplift the marginalized and underrepresented sectors it seeks to represent.  These photos were submitted through the judicial affidavit of Karla Orozco who narrated about the photographs she uploaded to the web page of ALAM on Facebook.  These feeding programs and sports feasts certainly demonstrated the sincerity of ALAM to represent and seek to uplift the marginalized and underrepresented sectors it seeks to represent.

Further, the petitioner disagrees with the Commission when it ruled that the fact that its membership includes many sectorss alludes to a scattershot strategy that has no focus or direction.  To the contrary, ALAM made it clear in all its pleadings that THE COMMON BONDS THAT TIE THE MEMBERS COMING FROM VARIOUS SECTORS ARE: (A) TRUE AND GENUINE FREE PRESS; AND (B) PEOPLE’S JUSTICE SYSTEM (GRAND JURY and TRIAL JURY SYSTEMS).  As such, ALAM falls into a sectoral organization that is a coalition of groups of citizens whose principal advocacy pertains the special interests and concerns of their sector (Section 3, RA 7941).

Now, it can be taken of judicial notice that the present system has libel law that has been sought to be decriminalized by the officers of ALAM.   It can also be taken of judicial notice that only very few believe in Totally-Free Press.    It can also be taken of judicial notice that the present justice system is not jury system.   It can also be taken of judicial notice that only a few believe in jury system.    It can also be taken of judicial notice that no congressmen or senators have filed a bill to establish jury system and remove all laws that punish or penalize the exercise of freedom of the press and expression in some forms.  These circumstances are sufficient in themselves to rule that ALAM at least represents the underrepresented.

            So that the majority of the Comelec En Banc erred and committed grave abuse of discretion in ruling otherwise.


Finding of Existence of Group Is Enough

            In fact, the Comelec made the finding that there are sufficient pieces of evidence to prove the existence of ALAM as a national organization.

            For clarity, let the pertinent part of the 7 November 2012 Resolution be quoted: “While the evidence shows that ALAM exists as a national organization...”

            So that when the Comelec has already established by the evidence presented that ALAM exists as a national organization, it is already enough to give it the presumption that it is a group of marginalized and underrepresented sectors in so far as repersenting the groups that believe in their declared principles of free press and jury system are concerned.

            When the existence of the group is established and when it is combined with the contentions that  it is representing the marginalized and underrepresented who believe in True and Genuine Press Freedom and Jury Systems as the systems or principles of governance and the fact that nobody opposed its application, there should have been now a substantial evidence to rule that the petitioner exists as a group of marginalized and underrepresented sectors of those who believe in totally-free press and jury systems of justice as the only systems that will make better governance or that will make it transparent and accountable.

            As argued above that additional qualification requirement of “track record” is unconstitutional and contrary to law, it is very clear that the finding alone that the group exists as it represents for a group of marginalized or underrepresented sectors must be enough.

            The fact that the Comelec did otherwise is a big error and an act of grave abuse of discretion.

            Hence, the succor that ALAM is now seeking for the Highest Court to give is to set aside the Resolution supposed to be promulgated on 07 November 2012.

Evidence of Grave Abuse of Discretion

            As presented above, there are plenty of evidence of personal bias constituting grave abuse of discretion.

            The first clear and convincing evidence is the fact that on October 29, 2012, Comelec Chairman Sixto S. Brillantes, Jr. And Commissioner Rene V. Sarmiento already announced that ALAM had already been disqualified.

            Yet, its Resolution was promulgated on 07 November 2012. 

            This act of premature disclosure of alleged decision is to say the least violative of the deliberative principle.  Until the decision is officially released and signed by all commissioners, nobody can make a disclosure of the decision of the case.  This is avoided because this breeds corruption.

            Another evidence of personal bias is the 07 November 2012 Resolution itself where the majority of the En Banc ventilated their anger over the expose of ALAM about the attempted PhP3-million bribery by means of incorporating the same as part of its motion for reconsideration.

            The majority ranted about the expose and in their words as written in the same resolution they claimed ALAM could not substantiate the bribery.

            The majority have been thinking that their reputation, including that of the two commissioners mentioned by its two employeess, have been tarnished.

            To the contrary, ALAM officials even made it clear during the En Banc hearing that there was no whatsoever evidence showing that Commissioners Yusoph and Tagle participated in the bribery attempt.  ALAM cleared that the two employees merely mentioned that the two commissioners were supposed to be the beneficiaries. ALAM thanks Commissioner Yusoph for reversing his vote.

            Yet, it buggles the mind.  Why then the Comelec used the affidavits of Mr. Alcala and Mr. Yap as evidence in charging its two employees for grave misconduct and placing the same employees under preventive suspension?


The Reliefs Sought


            The petitioner seeks the following reliefs:

a.      Declaration that the Comelec erred during the review of its resolutions;

b.      Certiorari to correct the 07 November 22012 Resolution of the majority of the Comelec En Banc and the resolution of the Second Division;

c.       Prohibition to prohibit the Comelec from not including the name of ALAB NG MAMAMAHAYAG (ALAM) in the PCOS Official Ballots;

d.     Mandamus to compel the Comelec to include ALAB NG MAMAMAHAYAG (ALAM) in the list of accredited party-list groups for the 2013 elections and thereafter; and

e.      Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) or Preliminary Injunction (PI), for the Supreme Court to temporarily enjoin the Comelec to include the name of ALAB NG MAMAMAHAYAG (ALAM) in the PCOS official ballots.
                       

The Application for TRO / PI


            The petitioner is begging to the Honorable Court to issue a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) or a Preliminary Injunction (PI) enjoining the Comelec to INCLUDE the name of the petitioner, ALAB NG MAMAMAHAYAG (ALAM), in the PCOS official ballots while this case is pending.

            Of course, the petitioner is amenable that its name be included in the PCOS official ballots in the mean time and agrees not to be proclaimed or its votes not counted in case the High Court rules affirming the 07 November 2012 Resolution of the Comelec En Banc and the Resolution of its Second Division.

            After all, the electronic nature of the PCOS makes it easy to implement the requested TRO and the terms thereof.  This means that there is no or negligible damage that may be caused on the Comelec and on the election preparations of the Comelec in general.

            Upon the other hand, there is extreme urgency that cries for the issuance of the TRO because there is no more time left for the inclusion of ALAM’s name in the PCOS official ballots by the time the Decision of the High Court in this case is promulgated. After all, delay in Comelec's resolution is the cause of urgency.

            The petitioner is adopting the reasons cited by retired Justice Vicente Mendoza in the petition he filed for Ako Bicol Party-list group, as the reasons why the TRO being prayed for by ALAM be granted.

            First, there is an extreme urgency for the Supreme Court to issue a TRO enjoining the Comelec from implementing its 07 November 2012 Resolution and the resolution of its Second Division of not including ALAB NG MAMAMAHAYAG (ALAM) in the PCOS official ballots.

            The Andres Bonifacio Day and the weekends in November and long ones in December and the weekends therein hamper the time ability of the Supreme Court to act on and resolve these petitions of ALAM.

            The Comelec has announced that it will finalize the list of accredited party-list organization in December.  It is also set to print officials ballots beginning January 20, 2013.

            So that it is very clear that if there is no TRO and in case the Supreme Court rules in favor of these petitions, the same will only be rendered moot and academic and will be extremely prejudicial to the petitioner. 

If the Supreme Court will not issue a TRO, the experience of PGBI (Philippine Guardians Brotherhood Inc.) in the 2010 electionss will only be repeated.  In this case, PGBI’s name was not included in the PCOS ballots despite the order from the Supreme Court, compelling the High Court to cite the Chairman and Commissioners in indirect contempt. (See PGBI vs Commission on Elections, G.R. No. 190529, March 22, 2011.)

                       
The Prayer


            WHEREFORE, it is respectfully prayed of the Honorable Court that afer due notice and hearing, it set aside the 07 November 2012 Resolution of the Comelec En Banc and the Resolution of its Second Division that was affirmed by the said 07 November 2012 Resolution, and in lieu thereof, issue a decision or a writ of certiorari declaring petitioner ALAB NG MAMAMAHAYAG (ALAM) as elegible for accreditation for the 2013 Party-list Elections and thereafter.

            Additionally, it is respectfully prayed that a writ of certiorari be issued declaring that “track record” is null and void as a law to be used as an additional qualification requirement for the qualifications screening of ALAB NG MAMAMAHAYAG (ALAM) and other party-list groups.

            Further, it is prayed that writs of mandamus and prohibition be issued directing the Comelec not to use “track record” as an additional qualification for after all there are other means that can be used effectively to curb the proliferation of fake party-list groups.
           
            Other reliefs just and equitable are also prayed for.  19 November 2012, Manila.

RENTA PE CAUSING SABARRE CASTRO & ASSOCIATES
Unit 1, 2368 JB Roxas St. corner Leon Guinto St., Malate, Manila
Emails: totocausing@yahoo.com, berteni.causing@gmail.com; Telephone No.: +632-3105521


By:

BERTENI CATALUÑA CAUSING
IBP No. 894664 / 03-20-2012 / Manila
PTR No. 0675267 / 03-27-2012 / Manila
Roll No. 60944/ MCLE Compliance No. IV-0007338, August 10, 2012




CIRILO P. SABARRE JR.
IBP No. 856677 /01-03-2012
PTR No. 117312429 /01-03-2012
Roll No. 53639 / MCLE Compliance No. IV-0003755



DERVIN V. CASTRO
IBP No. 836900/11-18-2010 up to 2012
PTR No. 0335125 /01-03-2012
Roll No. 53624 /MCLE Compliance No. IV-0007336, August 10, 2012


Cc:

COMMISSION ON ELECTION
Palacio del Gobernador
Gen. Lina St. Corner Soriano St., Intramuros, Manila


OFFICE OF SOLICITOR GENERAL
134 Amorsolo St., Makati City
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