The Inbox

Comelec to postpone ballot configuration

By Mikha Flores, VERA Files

The Commission on Elections is moving the ballot configuration originally set on Friday to its “deadliest deadline,” Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes said Wednesday.

During the configuration, Comelec will finalize the ballot face in both the national and local elections. The front face will include all elective positions in the national level: senators and party-list representatives. The back face will include all local elective positions.

Each city and municipality will have a back face of its own. Based on statistics released by the Election and Barangay Affairs Department, there are 143 cities and 1,491 municipalities. Thus, Comelec will be configuring 1,634 variations of the ballot.

Brillantes said he asked Comelec’s Information Technology Department to move the ballot configuration to Jan. 22 in deference to a Supreme Court resolution that it would act on pending petitions of party-list groups whose accreditation and registration have been cancelled by the poll body.

Gusto ko sana i-extend beyond 22 (I prefer to extend [the configuration] to after Jan. 22) so that we can settle the party-list,” Brilliantes said in an interview.

But he said he was told by the IT Department that it can only hold off the configuration until Jan. 15.

Kung yun ang maximum, wala tayong magagawa (If that’s the maximum, there’s nothing we can do about it),” Brillantes said. “That will not help us any, not too much.”

News reports say more than a hundred petitions from party-list groups whose accreditations were denied or cancelled are pending in the Supreme Court.

The Comelec included 52 party-list groups that obtained a status quo ante order (SQAO) but later excluded 13 groups after “inadvertently” including them in the lottery.

In Comelec Resolution 9591, applicants that were denied but were given an SQAO must also secure a mandatory injunction from the Supreme Court in order to participate in the raffle.

The Supreme Court was supposed to announce the new party-list groups that were given SQAOs but later recanted its statement.

”Upon verification, the Court did not issue any SQA but instead required comment within a non-extendible period of five days so that it can dispose of the cases as quickly and as expeditiously as possible.  We apologize for the confusion,” said Acting Supreme Court Spokesperson Maria Victoria Gleoresty Sp. Guerra.

Brillantes said party-list groups will only have until the final date of the ballot configuration in order to be included in the ballot. SQAOs that will be released beyond the configuration will no longer have any effect on the Comelec.

Based on Comelec’s Timeline of Election Activities, the configuration will last until Jan. 25. The ballots will be printed from Jan. 20 to April 25.

On Monday, the Comelec ordered the exclusion of the following applicant party-list groups from the ballot:

  • Alliance of Organizations, Networks and Associations of the Philippines Inc.  (Alona)
  • Kalikasan
  • Ako an Bisaya Party (AAB)
  • Alagad ng Sining (ASIN)
  • Alab ng Mamamahayag (ALAM)
  • Association of Guard, Utility Helper, Aider, Rider, Driver/Domestic Helper, Janitor, Agent, Nanny of the Phils. Inc. (GUARDJAN)
  • Abyan Ilonggo
  • Partido ng Bayan ang Bida (PBB)
  • Pilipinas Para sa Pinoy (PPP)
  • 1 Alliance Advocating Autonomy Party (1AAP)
  • Akbay Kalusugan (AKIN)
  • Manila Teachers Savings and Loan Association Inc.
  • Association of Local Athletics Entrepreneurs and Hobbyists Inc. (ALA-EH)

Alona is linked to Minority Floor Leader Danilo Suarez. Its first three nominees are Danilo Suarez Jr., Joanna Suarez, and Alexis M. Abastillas-Suarez.

Kalikasan, meanwhile, is linked to Kabataan party-list Representative Raymond Palatino.  Palatino, who is on his second term as congressman, was chosen as Kalikasan’s first nominee.

In Resolution 9604, the number assigned to the 13 party-lists will be reserved for groups that will be able to obtain an SQAO or mandatory injunction from the Supreme Court.

On Jan. 4, Comelec held a raffle of 136 party-list groups  to determine their listing in the ballot: 84 of which were accredited or retained while 52 were cancelled or denied but secured a status quo ante order from the Supreme Court. Of the 52, 39 are registered while 13 are applicants.

Brilliantes said the raffle was meant to prevent groups that start with 1 or A.

"The purpose is to avoid the very abnormal names of the party-lists na punung-puno ng A, punung-puno ng 1. Ngayon, hindi na importante kung 1 or A (It’s no longer important if your name starts with 1 or A)," Brilliantes said.

(VERA Files is put out by veteran journalists taking a deeper look at current issues. VERA is Latin for “true.”)


Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • Nonviolent disciplining of kids pushed

    Child rights advocates called on senators to pass and strongly endorse a law that will institutionalize positive and nonviolent methods of disciplining children.The Child Rights Network (CRN), Plan International Philippines (PIP), Philippine Legislators’ Committee on Population and Development (PLPCD), and Lihok Pilipinas Foundation led the call for the enactment of the Positive Discipline Bill.Several Quezon City Council members led by Majority Floor Leader Jesus Manuel Suntay, Victor Ferrer …

  • Method to their madness

    [caption id="attachment_256768" align="alignright" width="212"] Illustration by Rod Cañalita[/caption] EMMANUEL PORTUGAL Country Manager for the Philippines, VMware I look after the garden. I’d like to think that I have a green thumb—no plants have died so far! The ones I like now that I planted a few months ago is the Blue Iris. Like the town in the movie, my Blue Iris shows up in the morning and only appears for one day. …

  • JGFP Summer Tour on today

    The summer tour for local junior golfers kicks off with the holding of the ICTSI-JGFP Baguio Junior Open today and tomorrow at the treacherous Baguio Country Club course in Baguio.Sixty players aged 6 to 17 years old are entered in the 36-hole tourney serving as the opening leg of the summer circuit organized by the Junior Golf Foundation of the Philippines with the International Container Terminal Services, Inc. Foundation as main sponsor. ... …

  • PH now market ready to absorb infra bonds

    The Philippine market is now ready to absorb infrastructure bonds that will be issued by private companies amid a growing pipeline of infra-related projects under the government’s Public-Private Partnership (PPP) program. President Benigno Aquino III last week said the government is still committed to spend more on the country’s infrastructure, with 16 PPP projects currently on the pipeline and nine that have already been awarded. Over the years, some of the country’s biggest infrastructure …

  • Filipinos are saving more – BSP survey

    More Filipinos have the extra cash to save for that proverbial rainy day, according to the Bangko Sentral ng Philippines (BSP). Based on a quarterly survey on consumer confidence, domestic households with savings have the means to increase family reserves and to bring up the amount to historical highs. The central bank said improved family income, a generally positive outlook on the economy, inflation and foreign exchange rates encouraged saving behavior during the first three months of 2015. …

  • AXA Philippines growing alongside its parent firm

    Philippine AXA Life Insurance Corp. is growing side by side with its parent firm, global insurance firm AXA, after posting significant growth in its total premium income amid an increasing market share in the country. A statement showed that in the Philippines, multi-billion firm AXA Group saw P18.35 billion in total premium income. The local entity of AXA, AXA Philippines is a joint venture between AXA Group and the Metrobank Group. In 2014, it saw an increase in market share to 11.6 …

  • End to traffic jam in sight? Japan to lend P4B to PHL for road projects

    The Japanese government will be providing some P4 billion to the Philippines for road projects aimed at decongesting monstrous jams in Metro Manila.Noriaki Niwa, chief representative of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), said the loan will cover major interchanges to address traffic congestion in Metro Manila, including flyovers, and road links.Among them are the interchanges on EDSA-Roosevelt/Congressional, EDSA-West/North, and C-5-Green Meadows and North/Mindanao Avenue. ... …

  • US won’t provide flexibility for countries interested in TPP

    Washington D.C.—The US government will not provide any flexibility for potential member countries, like the Philippines, in their bid to become part of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a senior official said. Economic and Business Affairs Deputy Assistant Secretary William E. Craft, Jr., said all restrictions stated under the TPP trade deal will be maintained and have to be met by the current and future member countries. Earlier, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said that the …


Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Poll Choice Options