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FACTS: Petition for Certiorari under Rule 64 in relation to Rule 65, seeking to annul the Resolutions in E.M. No. 12-039 dated 18 July 2012 and 31 January 2013 of the COMELEC. Ating Koop is a multi-sectoral party-list organization On 30 November 2009, Ating Koop filed its Manifestation of Intent to Participate in the Party-List System of Representation for the 10 May 2010 Elections. On 6 March 2010, it filed with the COMELEC the list of its nominees, with petitioner Lico as first... nominee and Roberto Mascarina as second nominee. On 8 December 2010, COMELEC proclaimed Ating Koop as one of the winning party-list groups Petitioner Lico subsequently took his oath of office on 9 December 2010 before the Secretary-General of the House of Representatives, and thereafter assumed office. Several months prior to its proclamation as one of the winning party-list organizations, or on 9 June 2010, Ating Koop issued Central Committee Resolution 2010-01, which incorporated a term-sharing agreement signed by its nominees. Under the agreement,... petitioner Lico was to serve as Party-list Representative for the first year of the three-year term. On 5 December 2011, or almost one year after petitioner Lico had assumed office, the Interim Central Committee expelled him from Ating Koop for disloyalty. The said Petition, which was subsequently raffled to the Second Division, prayed that petitioner Lico... be ordered to vacate the office of Ating Koop in the House of Representatives, and for the succession of the second nominee, Roberto Mascarina as Ating Koop's representative in the House. Ating Koop had expelled Congressman Lico for acts inimical to the party-list group, such as malversation, graft and corruption
ISSUE: Commission on Elections' (COMELEC) jurisdiction over the expulsion of a sitting party-list representative: from the House of Representatives, on the one... hand; and from his party-list organization, on the other
RATIO DECIDENDI: We find that while the COMELEC correctly dismissed the Petition to expel petitioner Lico from the House of Representatives for being beyond its jurisdiction, it nevertheless proceeded to rule upon the validity of his expulsion from Ating Koop - a matter beyond its purview. The COMELEC notably characterized the Petition for expulsion of petitioner Lico from the House of Representatives and for the succession of the second nominee as party-list representative as a disqualification case. For this reason, the COMELEC dismissed the petition for lack of... jurisdiction, insofar as it relates to the question of unseating petitioner Lico from the House of Representatives. Section 17, Article VI of the 1987 Constitution endows the HRET with jurisdiction to resolve questions on the qualifications of members of Congress. In the case of party-list representatives, the HRET acquires jurisdiction over a disqualification case... upon proclamation of the winning party-list group, oath of the nominee, and assumption of office as member of the House of Representatives. In this case, the COMELEC proclaimed Ating Koop as a winning party-list group; petitioner Lico took his oath; and... he assumed office in the House of Representatives. Thus, it is the HRET, and not the COMELEC, that has jurisdiction over the disqualification case The jurisdiction of the HRET is exclusive. It is given full authority to hear and decide the cases on any matter touching on the validity of the title of the proclaimed winner
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