(Eagle News) – The Commission on Elections has declared the ruling Partido Demokratiko Pilipino – Lakas ng Bayan as the “dominant majority party” while the Nacionalista Party was declared the “dominant minority party,” a move which is now being questioned by the opposition Liberal Party.
With the decision, this entitled the PDP-Laban and the Nacionalista Party to receive the fifth and sixth copies of election returns respectively from the vote counting machines, and get the seventh and eighth copies of the Certificates of Canvass (COCs), respectively.
They will also receive electronically-transmitted precinct results, and can also assign official watchers in every polling place and canvassing center.
The decision was contained in Comelec resolution No. 10538, promulgated on May 8, which said that two parties got the highest weight average points based on the poll body’s computation using their provided criteria.
PDP-Laban got 55.74 points while NP got 35.87 points.
The poll body’s decision determining the dominant majority party and the dominant minority party was based on the “number of candidates being fielded” and “the number of positions occupied as incumbents,” according to Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez.
-Liberal Party among major national parties-
The Liberal Party, however, was declared one of the major national parties, along with the Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC), United Nationalist Alliance (UNA), Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats (Lakas-CMD), Workers and Peasants Party (WPP), Laban ng Demokratikong Pilipino (LDP), National Unity Party (NUP), and Aksyon Demokratiko.
As major national parties, they are entitled to receive the ninth to 18th copies of election returns in each polling precinct.
They will also receive the ninth to 18th copies of all Certificates of Canvass (COCs), and can deploy official watchers in all of the polling places and canvassing centers.
-Liberal Party to question decision-
The Liberal Party said it would question before the Supreme Court the Comelec’s decision choosing the Nacionalista Party as the dominant minority party, claiming that the party is also allied with the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte.
Comelec Commissioner Luie Guia, in his separate opinion, questioned the choice of Nacionalista Party as the dominant minority party.
“It appears that the party that obtained the second highest rating was selected as the Dominant Minority Party,” he said.
“The purpose of determining which are the dominant majority and minority parties is to ensure fairness in treating contending or opposing political groups. This purpose will not be served if the dominant minority party also comes from the majority,” he added.
-Major local parties also named-
Meanwhile, Comelec, also identified the major local parties, one of which was the Hugpong ng Pagbabago of presidential daughter Davao City mayor Sara Duterte, which is considered the major local party for the Davao region.
The other major local parties are Arangkada San Joseño Political Party for San Jose Del Monte City, Bulacan; Asenso Manileño Movement for City of Manila; Bileg Party for Ilocos Sur; Hugpong sa Tawing Lungsod for Davao City; Malayang Kilusan ng mga Mamamayang Zambaleño for Zambales; Partido Abe Kapampangan for Angeles City, Pampanga; Partido Navoteño for Navotas City; Serbisyo sa Bayan Party for Quezon City; Sulong Dignidad for Makati City; Unang Sigaw for Nueva Ecija; and Kabalikat ng Bayan sa Kaunlaran for National Capital Region.
These parties will get the 19th and 20th copies of the ERs and COCs in their respective provinces or region.
Based on the Comelec resolution, the following criteria were used to determine the choice of the dominant majority party, the dominant minority party, as well as the major national parties and major local parties: the established record based on their showing in past elections; the number of incumbent elective officials belonging to them on the last day of the filing of the certificate of candidacy; their identifiable political organizations and strengths as evidenced by their organized chapters; and the ability to field a slate of candidates from the municipal level to the senatorial positions, among others.
The criteria also includes the number of women candidates fielded by political parties from the municipal level to the position of senator; and other analogous circumstances that may determine their relative organizations and strengths.