SC issues guidelines on accreditation of party-list groups

The Supreme Court Friday issued the guidelines on the grant of accreditation to party-list groups.

In an advisory of the SC Public Information Office, the guidelines will be observed by the Commission on Elections in determining whether a group is qualified to run as a party-list.

Likewise, the SC also remanded to the Comelec the case of 54 party-list groups who filed their respective petitions before the SC after they were disqualified by the Comelec.

Included in the guidelines set by the SC are the following:

-- three different groups will be allowed to participate in the party-list system such as the national parties or organizations; regional parties; and sectoral parties;

-- the national parties and regional parties need not represent any marginalized and underrepresented sector;

-- the political parties will be allowed to participate in the party-list elections provided they are registered under the party-list system and they do not have any candidate running in the legislative district elections; and,

-- the sectoral parties may be marginalized and underrepresented or belong to the ranks without clear definition of political constituencies.

The SC said it is enough that their main advocacy points to especial interest in their sector.

It added the sectors considered as marginalized and underrepresented are the workers, farmers, fishermen, urban poor, indigenous cultural communities, people with disabilities, the veterans and overseas Filipino workers.

The SC said the sector without clear definition of political constituency are the professionals, senior citizens, women and youth.

It added the majority of the members of the sectoral parties representing the marginalized and underrepresented should belong to the sector they represent.

The SC said the nominees of the sectoral parties may belong to a sector they represent or with track record of the advocacy being pursued by the group.

It added the national, regional and sectoral parties should not be disqualified if their nominees were disqualified provided they still have not less than five qualified nominees.

Although the result of the voting of the justices on different issues involving the case, majority of them said no grave abuse of discretion was committed on the part of the Comelec and the party-list cases should be remanded to the Comnelec.