Comelec 2nd Division cancels An Waray Party-list's registration

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, June 2) — The Commission on Elections (Comelec) 2nd Division on Friday canceled the registration of An Waray Party-list for failing to comply with the rules and regulations relating to elections.

According to the poll body, An Waray allowed its second nominee – Atty. Victoria Isabel Noel – to sit as one of its representatives in the House of Representatives in the 16th Congress, knowing "fully well" that Comelec has not issued a Certificate of Proclamation entitling her to do so.

"Without a Certificate of Proclamation for its second nominee, An Waray was entitled to one seat only in relation to the 2013 National and Local Elections, thus Atty. Noel's assumption to office as Representative of An Waray had no legal basis," Comelec said in a statement.

In the 2013 elections, An Waray was initially entitled to two seats in the lower chamber after being proclaimed as one of the winners of the party-list race.

However, Comelec explained that the initial allocation of two seats was subsequently recomputed to only one seat – pursuant to a resolution of the National Board of Canvassers (NBOC) promulgated in August 2014.

"The recomputation of seats was made following the Supreme Court's order, in Abang Lingkod Party-list vs. COMELEC, to proclaim Abang Lingkod PL as one of the winning PL groups in the 2013 NLE with the number of seats it may be entitled to, and in view of the then-pendency of the case of Senior Citizens PL before the Supreme Court," the poll body said.

But An Waray relied on another NBOC resolution promulgated on May 2013, which stated that the initially allocated seats are "without prejudice to the proclamation of other parties, organizations or coalitions which may later on be established to be entitled to one guaranteed seat and/or additional seat."

"By arrogating upon itself the authority" to have Noel sit as one of the representatives without legal basis, An Waray committed "a violation of laws relating to elections imputable to the party as provided under Section 6 (5) of R.A. No. 7941," Comelec stressed.