Thursday, February 11, 2016

ABC Party List vs COMELEC [GR No. 193256, March 22, 2011]

FACTS: Respondent Mauricio filed a petition with the COMELEC seeking the cancellation of the petitioner's registration as party-list on the ground that petitioner was merely a front for the religious organization “Ang Dating Daan.” The COMELEC Second Division dismissed the petition on procedural and substantive grounds, but upon Motion for Reconsideration, the COMELEC en banc reinstated the petition and directed the scheduling of a hearing. The petitioner assailed the decision, arguing that since the party-list group has been proclaimed a winner and its nominee has taken his oath, jurisdiction over the case has been transferred from the COMELEC to the House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal (HRET)

ISSUE: Whether the COMELEC had jurisdiction over a petition for cancellation of a party-list group's registration after said group has been voted for and its nominee has taken oath

RULING: Yes. According to Section 2(5), Article IX-C of the Constitution, the COMELEC has jurisdiction over petitions for cancellation of registration of national, regional or sectoral parties, organizations and coalitions. On the other hand, Section 17, Article VI of the Constitution provides for the jurisdiction of the HRET as sole judge on the qualifications of members of the House of Representatives. A party-list group is not elected into the House of Representatives. The party-list nominee is elected through a party-list system and occupies a seat as member of the House of Representatives. While the HRET has the jurisdiction over party-list nominee, the COMELEC has a distinct jurisdiction over the cancellation on legal grounds of parties' registration.

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