SPP No. 13 008

Link to law: http://www.gov.ph/2013/09/20/spp-no-13-008/
Published: 2013-09-25

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Tags: Commission on Elections, departmental issuances Republic of the Philippines

COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS

Manila

EN BANC

IN THE MATTER OF THE ACCREDITATION OF THE CITIZEN’S ARM OF THE COMMISSION FOR PURPOSES OF THE 2013 BARANGAY & SANGGUNIANG KABATAAN ELECTIONS PARISH PASTORAL COUNCIL FOR RESPONSIBLE VOTING (PPCRV)

Petitioner.

SPP NO. 13 008 (BRGY)

NOTICE

1. ATTY. HERBERT PAUL J. FRANCISCO
Counsel for the Petitioner

118 Katipunan Avenue

White Plains, Quezon City 1110

2. ATTY. ROBESPIERRE S. CU
Counsel for the Petitioner

20-C Burgundy Corporate Tower

252 Sen. Gil Puyat Avenue, 1200 Makati City

3. THE PARISH PASTORAL COUNCIL FOR RESPONSIBLE VOTING (PPCRV)
Petitioner

Room 223, Pius XII Catholic Center,

1175 United Nations Avenue, Manila

4. THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
This Commission

5. THE EDUCATION INFORAMTION DEPARTMENT
This Commission

GREETINGS:

Attached is copy of the RESOLUTION of the Commission (EN BANC) in the above-entitled case promulgated 17 September 2013.

Manila, September 18, 2013.

FOR THE COMMISSION:

(Sgd.) ABIGAIL JUSTINE CUARESMA-LILAGAN
Acting Clerk of the Commission

 

 

Republic of the Philippines
Commission on Elections
Manila
EN BANC

 

IN THE MATTER OF THE ACCREDITATION OF THE CITIZENS’ ARM OF THE COMMISSION FOR PURPOSES OF THE 2013 BARANGAY AND SANGGUNIANG KABATAAN ELECTIONS
SPP NO. 13-008 (BRGY)

BRILLANTES, SIXTO S. JR.
Chairman

TAGLE, LUCENITO N.
Commissioner

YUSOPH, ELIAS R.
Commissioner

LIM, CHRISTIAN ROBERT S.
Commissioner

PADACA, MARIA GRACIA CIELO M.
Commissioner

PARREÑO, AL A.
Commissioner

GUIA, LUIE TITO F.
Commissioner

PARISH PASTORAL COUNCIL FOR RESPONSIBLE VOTING (PPCRV)
Petitioner

 

Promulgated on: SEP 17 2013

PER CURIAM

RESOLUTION

Before the Commission en banc is the Petition for Accreditation[1] as citizens’ arm of the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) for the purposes of the October 28, 2013 Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) Elections filed by the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV) on August 22, 2013.

Petitioner avers, among others, the following salient information:

“xxx xxx xxx”

“1. PPCRV bona fide, non-partisan parish based movement duly organized by and composed of civil-minded citizens drawn from the various sectors of the Philippine society, mandated to help form the civic conscience of the Filipino voters and campaign for clean, honest, accurate, meaningful and peaceful elections with offices at Room 223, Pius XII Catholic Center, 1175 United Nations Avenue, Manila, where it may served with summons, orders and other processes of this Honorable Commission.

2. This petition is being filed pursuant to Article 9 (C), Section 2 of the 1987 Constitution where it states that the Commission on Elections has the following powers:

“(5) register, after sufficient publication, political parties, organizations, or coalitions which, in addition to other requirements, must present their platform or program of governments, and accredit citizen’s arms of the Commission on Elections.” (Emphasis and underscoring supplied);

3. The PPCRV has a mass-based constituency composed of individuals of voting age and registered voters, with operating chapters based in the various parishes in provinces, cities and municipalities throughout the country, which carry out all orders, instructions and/or directives/promulgated by the PCRV’s National Executive Board (NEB). The Council’s membership has grown in number as shown in the 2013 Automated National and Local Elections where 688,000 PPCRV members and volunteers from 3,333 parishes nationwide participated in poll watching and election related activities.

“xxx xxx xxx”

8. Petitioner has managed to be accredited as a national citizen’s arm in the following electoral exercises:

(a) 1993, 1994, 1997, and 2010 Barangay Elections;

(b) 1993 Special Elections for Governor of Bataan;

(c) 1994 Special Elections for Congressman of the Second District of Rizal;

(d) 1992, 1995, 1998, 2001, 2004 and 2007 National and Local Elections;

(e) 1996, 2002 and 2010 Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) Election;

(f) 1997 Recall Election in Kalookan City;

(g) 1999 Regional Elections in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM);

(h) 1999 October plebiscite on the creation of the City of Novaliches;

(i) 2000 April Recall Elections for the City Mayor of Pasay City;

(j) 2008 Elections in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM); and

(k) 2010 Automated National and Local Elections;

(l) 2011 Special Elections for Congressman of the First District of Ilocos Sur;

(m) 2012 Special Elections for Congressman in the 4th District of Zambales;

(n) 2012 Special Elections for Congressman of the First District of Negros Occidental;

(o) 2012 General Registration in the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM);

(p) 2013 Automated National and Local Elections;

9. Petitioner is likewise part of the Comelec Advisory Council and has played a vigilant role in matters related to the automation of elections, as well as in overseeing Information and Communication Technology (ICT) concerns relating to or in any way affecting the access of the voters of their right and the exercise of said right to suffrage;

10. Petitioner is also a pro-active partner of the Commission in enabling the vulnerable sectors, especially Persons With Disabilities (PWD) to have greater access in the electoral process;

“xxx xxx xxx”[2]

Petitioner reiterates its commitments in its previous petitions for accreditation that:

(a) It shall be subject to the direct and immediate control of this Honorable Commission and shall comply with the lawful orders of the Commission in the performance of its specific functions and activities as provided in Section 52 (k) of the Omnibus Election Code, and such other functions and activities which the Commission may assign to it;

(b) It is not supporting any candidate, political party, organization or coalition of political parties involved in the forthcoming activities under Republic Act 9340;

(c) It shall remain strictly non-partisan and impartial during the entire period fixed for the holding of the aforesaid activities;

(d) It does not seek to achieve its objectives, goals or programs through violence or unlawful means, nor aim to propagate any ideology opposed to the principles of a republican and democratic government and that it will undertaken to police its ranks and prevent infiltration of person or groups of person who may, directly or indirectly, destroy its character of non-partisanship and impartiality;

(e) It shall submit to the Commission a list of its responsible officials and other officers constituting its Board and there shall be no changes therein without due notice to the Honorable Commission;

(f) It is not supported by or under the influence of any foreign government or any of its agencies or instrumentalities;

(g) It shall not solicit or receive, directly or indirectly, any contribution or aid of whatever form or nature from any foreign government, whether natural or judicial, in its monitoring of the conduct of elections;

(h) It shall submit regularly a written report of its operation during the period of its accreditation and a Narrative Summary Report after the conclusion of the pertinent election exercise which is the subject of its accreditation;[3]

Acting on the petition, the Commission en banc issued on August 28, 2013 an Order[4] directing the petitioner to cause the publication of the petition together with the aforestated Order in a newspaper of general circulation at its own expense. The Commission set the hearing on the petition on September 5, 2013.[5]

The petition and notice were published on September 4, 2013 and September 5, 2013, respectively, in the issues of the Business Mirror.[6]

During the scheduled hearing, Atty. Robespierre S. Cu appeared on behalf of PPCRV. Ambassador Henrietta T. De Villa, National Chairperson of the PPCRV, was presented as witness. After some clarificatory questions were answered by the witness, the petition was submitted for resolution.

The Petitioners submitted its Formal Offer of Evidence[7] on September 6, 2013.

We now rule.

Section 1, Rule 33 of the COMELEC Rules of Procedure, provides:

Sec. 1. Who May Be Accredited as Citizens’ Arms of the Commission. – Any bona fide non partisan group, association or organization from the civic, youth, professional, educational, business or labor sectors with identifiable leadership, membership and structure, and with demonstrated capacity to promote the public interest performance of its functions and activities as mandated by the Constitution and by law, may be accredit as citizens’ arms of the Commission. (Emphasis supplied)

Petitioner PPCRV has been the Commission’s constant partner in most elections since its inception in 1991. Its track record shows that that it has been continuously assisting the Commission in its mandate to make sure that the conduct of elections is clean orderly, peaceful and honest. It has also established its membership and structure all over the country and has demonstrated its capacity to promote public interest in its undertaking as the citizens’ arm of the Commission especially during the May 13, 2013 National, Local and ARMM Elections.

WHEREFORE, considering that Petitioner has complied with all the requirements set forth under Rule 33 of the COMELEC Rules of Procedure, this Commission hereby RESOLVED as it hereby RESOLVES to GRANT the Petition for accreditation of the PARISH PASTORAL COUNCIL FOR RESPONSIBLE VOTING (PPCRV) as citizens’ arm of the Commission in accordance with Section 2(5) of Article IX of the Constitution, Section 52 (k) of the Omnibus Election Code and other election laws in connection with the October 28, 2013 Barangay and SK Elections.

We hereby set the following duties and responsibilities of the PPCRV:

1. To conduct poll watching in various precincts;

2. To provide assistance to the voters on election day most especially to the senior citizens, persons with disabilities, pregnant women, detainees, indigenous peoples and other member of the vulnerable sectors; and

3. To assist the Commission in voters’ information and education drives in every municipality, city and provinces most especially in far-flung areas and to sectors which experience inaccessibility in getting information from the Commission; and

4. To carry out other attendant functions as may be instructed by the Commission.

The Commission will undertake the following subject to reasonable procedures:

1. Furnish PPCRV with the electronic copies of the following: (a) the Computerized Voters’ List; and (b) the Project Precincts for the effective discharge of its responsibilities;

2. Furnish PPCRV, even without request, the Certificate of Votes (CEF No. 13) per clustered precinct duly signed and thumbmarked by all the members of the Board of Election Tellers (BET). However, to better facilitate the issuance of the Certificate of Votes, the PPCRV watchers shall, based on the tally of votes, enter on the certificates, the names of the candidates, the total number of votes received by each candidates, written in words and in figures, the precinct number, the name of the barangay, city or municipality and province, the total number of voters who voted in the precinct and the date of its issuance. Before signing, the BET shall first verify and countercheck the figures written on the Certificate of Votes with the official tally;

3. Provide access to PPCRV, free of charge, related election forms including: a) procurement notices and awards; b) voters list; c) minutes of registration; d) minutes of voting and similar and/or related documents;

4. Allow PPCRV to conduct ocular inspections and/or examine identified venues of elections and such related spaces and equipment that may be used in relation to the conduct of the 2013 Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections;

5. Authorize PPCRV to undertake a widespread stakeholder education and training program to educate the public and fully inform the electorate on the right to suffrage and government representation and inculcate values on clean, honest, accurate, meaningful and peaceful elections provided that the modules to be used in these undertakings should first be approved by the Education and Information (EID) of this Commission;

6. Include PPCRV in the briefing of the BET conducted by the Commission in every and all barangay, regions, provinces, cities and municipalities prior to the elections, and allocate per said BET training session four (4) slots for the PPCRV representatives chosen by the PPCRV National Office and/or its Diocesan Chapters.

7. Issue the necessary orders to all concerned election officers nationwide to implement the foregoing orders;

8. Allow PPCRV to be assisted by the Commission’s deputized law enforcement agencies in the performance of its duties and functions as said citizens’ arm,

9. Provide a copy of following to PPCRV: (a) permanent list of voters per precinct in each city and/or municipality consisting of all registered voters residing within the territorial jurisdiction of very precinct indicated by the precinct maps; and (b) list of deactivated, reactivated and/or cancelled voters, free of any charge or access fee; and

10. Allow PPCRV to carry out other functions as citizen’s arm that the Commission may warrant;

This accreditation as citizens’ arm of the PPCRV is subject to the following conditions:

1. That it shall be subject to the direct and immediate control and supervision of the Commission and it shall comply with the Commission’s lawful orders in the performance of its specific functions and activities provided for by law, and such other functions;

2. That it is not supporting any candidate, political party, organization, or coalition of political parties;

3. That it shall strictly remain non-partisan and impartial in the performance of all its duties;

4. That it is riot supported by or under the influence of any foreign government or any of its agencies or instrumentalities, or from any foreigner, whether natural or juridical person;

5. That it shall not solicit, receive, directly or indirectly, any contribution or aid of whatever form or nature from any foreign government, or any of its agencies or instrumentalities, or from any foreigner, whether natural or juridical persons;

6. That it does not seek to achieve its objectives, goals, or programs through violence or other unlawful means, nor aim to propagate any ideology opposed to the principles of a republican and democratic government;

7. That it undertakes to police its ranks and prevent infiltration by persons or group of persons who may, directly or indirectly, destroy its character of non-partisanship and impartiality;

8. That it shall submit to the Commission a list of its responsible officials and other officers constituting its board and there shall be no changes therein without the approval of the Commission;

9. That it shall make available to the Commission, its personnel, facilities, equipment, papers and effects;

10. That it shall submit a written report of its activities/operations and its observations of the October 28, 2013 Barangay and SK Elections within one (1) month after said elections;

11. That the Commission may delegate other duties and responsibilities as it may deem necessary; and

12. That this accreditation shall be deemed automatically revoked in case it violates any of the conditions herein set forth.

The Executive Director of the Commission in coordination with the Clerk of the Commission shall implement this Resolution immediately upon its promulgation, furnishing copies thereof to all field officers nationwide including the candidates and the political parties or coalition of political parties.

The Education and Information Department shall cause the publication of this Resolution in two (2) daily newspapers of general circulation.

SO ORDERED,

(Sgd.) SIXTO S. BRILLANTES, JR.
Chairman

ON LEAVE
(Sgd.) LUCENITO N. TAGLE
Commissioner

(Sgd.) ELIAS R. YUSOPH
Commissioner

(Sgd.) CHRISTIAN ROBERT S. LIM
Commissioner

(Sgd.) MARIA GRACIA CIELO M. PADACA
Commissioner

ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS

(Sgd.) AL A. PARREÑO
Commissioner

(Sgd.) LUIE TITO F. GUIA
Commissioner

CERTIFICATION

I hereby certify that the conclusions in the above resolution were reached in consultation among the members of the Commission before the case was assigned to the writer of the opinion of the Commission (En Banc).

(Sgd.) SIXTO S. BRILLANTES, JR.
Chairman

 

[1] Records, Pp. 1-12

[2] Ibid, Pp. 1-10

[3] Ibid, Pp. 7-9

[4] Ibid, P. 15

[5] Ibid, P. 15

[6] Ibid, P. 27-28.

[7] Ibid P. 19-24

 

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[PDF] SPP No. 13 008, Septmeber 20, 2013













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