ABC (ALLIANCE FOR BARANGAY CONCERNS) PARTY LIST, represented herein by its Chairan, !A"ES "ARTY LI",
CO""ISSION ON ELECTIONS and "ELANIO "A#RICIO, !R$,
Respondents.Melanio Mauricio, Jr. filed a petition
with the COMELEC for the cancellation of registration and accreditation of petitioner AC Part!"List
on the ground that petitioner is a front for a religious organi$ation% hence, it is dis&ualified to 'eco(e a part!"list group under )ection * +-
of Repu'lic Act +R.A.- /o. 01, otherwise nown as the Part!"List )!ste( Act.Private respondent contends that AC is a front for a religious group called the Children of 3od 4nternational, which is (ore popularl! nown as Ang 5ating 5aan, 'ased on the following circu(stances6. Although its /ational Chair(an, Ja(es Mart! Li(, was 'eing pu'licl! 'ruited as its first no(inee, the real nu('er one no(inee of the part! is Arnulfo 7/oel7 Molero, who is a nown top official of Ang 5ating 5aan%2. AC was organi$ed, esta'lished and is 'eing run '! Ang 5ating 5aan not as a part!"list organi$ation for political purposes 8envisioned '! R.A. /o. 01 +the Part!"List )!ste( Act-9, 'ut as a religious sect for religious purposes%#. :he resources of Ang 5ating 5aan are 'eing used to finance the ca(paign of AC on a nationwide scale% and. :he (e('ership of AC is co(posed of the (e('ers of Ang 5ating 5aan. AC denied private respondent;s allegations, petitioner stated that as a political part! of national constituenc!, it was foundedand headed '! Mr. Ja(es Mart! Li(, who held the position of /ational President of the Association of aranga! Chair(en for !ears. Petitioner averred that it has not 'een identified with an! religious entit! or aggrupation.On June *, 2<<, the COMELEC, )econd 5ivision issued a Resolution
dis(issing the petition 'ased on procedural and su'stantial grounds. :he dis(issal on procedural grounds was grounded on the lac of proper verification of the petition. )econd 5ivision also dis(issed the petition 'ased on su'stantial grounds, as it found that AC is not a religious sect, and is, therefore, not dis&ualified fro( registration.Private respondents filed a
Motion for Reconsideration with Motion to Annul Proclamation and Suspend its Effects.
Petitioner urged the COMELEC to dis(iss the petition for lac of =urisdiction, since the )ecretar! 3eneral of the >ouse of Representatives had alread! recogni$ed AC as a proclai(ed part!"list group '! asing its first no(inee to attend the Orientation Progra( for the new (e('ers of the >ouse of Representatives, ?ifteenth Congress on Jul! @, 2<< at the plenar!hall.On Jul! #<, 2<<
private respondent filed a Co((entOpposition to petitionerBs (otion to dis(iss, arguing that AC was not validl! proclai(ed% hence, the COMELEC still has =urisdiction over the case. On August #, 2<<, the COMELEC en 'anc issued a Resolution
partiall! granting private respondent;s Motion for Reconsideration with Motion to Annul Procla(ation and )uspend 4ts Effects dated June 22, 2<<.Petitioner contends that the COMELEC en 'anc no longer had =urisdiction to entertain the petition for cancellation of registration and accreditation of AC Part!"List after it was alread! proclai(ed as one of the winners in the part!"list elections of Ma! <, 2<<. Petitioner avers that )ection 0, Article 4 of the Constitution provides that 78t9he )enate and the >ouse of Representatives shall each have an Electoral :ri'unal which shall 'e the sole =udge of all contests relating to the election, returns, and &ualifications of their respective Me('ers.7 >ence, once a candidate for >ouse of Representatives is proclai(ed, the COMELEC is divested of =urisdiction to pass upon its &ualification and the sa(e is vested with the >ouse of Representatives Electoral :ri'unal +>RE:-% therefore, an! &uestion as to its &ualification should 'e resolved '! the >RE: and not '! the COMELEC. Petitioner asserts that once a part!"list group has 'een proclai(ed winner and its no(inees have taen their oath, the COMELEC should 'e divested of its =urisdiction over 'oth the part!"list group and its no(inees.
6 DO/ COMELEC has =urisdiction over the dis&ualification of AC as a part!"list since it won the election and was alread! proclai(ed or it;s now the >ouse of Representatives Electoral :ri'unal +>RE:-