The Supreme Court has upheld the decision of the Commission on Elections’ (Comelec) to recognize the group, led by Senator Koko Pimentel III, as the “legitimate” officers of the ruling Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban).
“The suit failed to present evidence showing that the Comelec committed grave abuse of discretion.”
In a resolution dated June 18 but only released recently, the High Court, in dismissing the petition filed by the party’s Rogelio Garcia faction, said the suit failed to present evidence showing that the Comelec committed grave abuse of discretion.
“…the Court resolves to dismiss the instant petition for failure of petitioner PDP-Laban represented by Rogelio Garcia to sufficiently show that the public respondent Commission on Election committed grave abuse of discretion in declaring the sworn information update statement (SIUS) and list of authorized signatories (LIAS) filed by respondent Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III to be the legitimate and official SIUS and LIAS of PDP-Laban for the May 13, 2019, national and local elections in its November 28, 2018 resolution,” the SC resolution read.
The Comelec issued the resolution after it received two sets of SIUS and LIAS filed by Pimentel’s and Garcia’s groups.
In its resolution, the poll body said it took judicial notice on the fact that Pimentel’s group has been the same set of officers and authorized to submit the documents since 2016.
Pimentel is the president of PDP-Laban while Garcia claimed he was elected party president in July 2018.
The resolution also denied Garcia’s plea for the issuance of a temporary restraining order and/or a writ of preliminary injunction on the Comelec resolution.
“Comelec must continue to recognize them as the legitimate officers authorized to act for and in behalf of PDP Laban.”
“As correctly found by the Comelec, without a direct challenge questioning the legitimacy of the group of Senator Pimentel as the officers of PDP-Laban, and a consequent adverse ruling by the Comelec against such officers, it must continue to recognize them as the legitimate officers authorized to act for and in behalf of PDP Laban. Necessarily, the Comelec must recognize the SIUS and the list submitted by such officers,” the SC said.
The tribunal, however, said the resolution is “without prejudice to the filing of a direct challenge” by Garcia’s group questioning the legitimacy of Pimentel’s group before the Comelec.