The polling body in the Philippines, Pulse Asia has asked a Quezon City court to let go of the P650,000-civil complaint filed by Sen. Richard Gordon.
Saying that the Bagumbayan Party presidential candidate should have first raised his suit against polling organizations to the Commission on Elections.
Earlier, Judge Bayani Vargas dismissed Gordon’s request for a preliminary injunction against Pulse Asia and Social Weather Stations to impede them from conducting election surveys on the ground that the court did not have jurisdiction.
On the other hand, the court chose to maintain jurisdiction over the part of the complaint involving civil damages, telling that it would decide what damages to award the senator, if he shouldwin the suit.
Pulse Asia said the court made a mistake in deciding to retain the suit for civil damages.
It said that under the doctrine of prior resort, as explained in a 2004 Supreme Court ruling, the Quezon City court is excluded from taking cognizance of the claim for damages suit until after the issue has been brought before the Comelec.
“Considering that, this court does not have jurisdiction over any ancillary, consequential or incidental cause of action such as damages arising from the principal cause of action,” Pulse Asia said in its proposition.
Gordon wanted the two polling firms to be prohibited from conducting pre-election surveys as he said these surveys tended to condition the minds of voters as to whom to vote for.
According to Gordon, that he was always placing fifth in the pollsters’ surveys despite being warmly received by the people during his campaign sorties.
Pulse Asia said that the court should allow the Comelec to issue a relief first, after which the court can decide whether or not to take jurisdiction over the remaining issues.
“Prior resort ought to be taken to the Comelec first to determine the alleged violations committed against the Fair Elections Act before resort could and ought to be taken to this court for permanent injunction as well as damages,” it said.