SC affirms Pimentel’s group as legitimate PDP Laban

July 16, 2019

THE Supreme Court upheld the decision of the Commission on Elections recognizing the group of Senator Koko Pimentel as the “legitimate” officers of the ruling Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan as it dismissed the petition filed by the faction of Rogelio Garcia.

In a resolution, the SC said Garcia’s petition failed to present evidence showing that the Comelec committed grave abuse of discretion when it issued its resolution on November last year.

“After a judicious study of the case, 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 Elections 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 said.

In the resolution, the SC also denied Garcia’s plea for the issuance of a temporary restraining order and or a writ of preliminary injunction on the Comelec resolution.

“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 stated in its resolution.

But the High Court 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 poll body.

This means that Garcia’s group can still challenge the legitimacy of Pimentel’s group before the poll body.