Two more incumbent party-list groups can no longer participate in mid-term elections after the Commission on Elections (Comelec) cancelled their accreditation on Monday.
Comelec chair Sixto Brillantes Jr. said they disqualified 1 Consumer Alliance for Rural Energy (1-CARE) and Association of Philippine Electric Cooperatives (APEC) due to similarity in representation.
"These two have similarities. They represent according to them the electric consumers. Our bases are first, (they are) cooperative. Second, there are no sectors for electrical consumers," Brillantes explained.
"That was our general discussion. They're out," he added, noting that the decision will not affect incumbent lawmaker's existing terms.
Citing an en banc resolution, Brillantes clarified they will still continue to cancel existing accreditions of more or less 20 party-list groups due to redundancy in representation.
1-CARE has two nominees while APEC has another one sitting as incumbent member of 15th Congress in the House of Representatives.
Brillantes urged the groups may question their resolution before the Supreme Court.
1-CARE party-list Rep. Michael Angelo Rivera vowed to question the ruling in the Supreme Court, arguing the decision compromises their advocacy for the orovision of electricity to rural areas.
“As it is, we have successfully provided electricity to 1,456 sitios or around 4,000 households. We focus on rural households," Rivera argued.
"Now, are they saying that those in the mountains who do not have access to electricity are not marginalized?” he asked.
For his part, APEC party-list Rep. Ponciano Payuyo criticized Comelec for its indecisiveness about accreditation of party-list groups, insisting consumers are “deprived of access to electricity” in far-flung areas.
“I can’t believe that we were disqualified. We have been here since 1998. We cater to consumers who are deprived of access to electricity, the same people being funded by the government under the rural
electrification," Payuyo said.
"We want them to be a part of the cooperative so they would have access to the electricity. Are they not marginalized enough?,” he noted.
Last week, Comelec also cancelled the accreditation of AKO Bicol.
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