November 29, 2012
Election watchdog Kontra Daya assailed the Commission on Elections for accrediting partylist groups that are clearly not marginalized nor underrepresented.
“We are appalled at the inconsistent ruling of the Comelec. They effectively shot themselves on the foot with this one. By allowing these obviously non-marginalized groups and nominees to run, Comelec is providing legal ammunition for the other non-marginalized groups that have previously been disqualified. Comelec appears to be playing with the whole disqualification process,” said Kontra Daya Spokesperson Fr. Joe Dizon.
Kontra Daya noted that Comelec retained or approved the accreditation of at least fifteen partylist groups included in its Omnibus Complaint:
1. Ang Mata’y Alagaan of the Family of SC Justice Presbiterio Velasco
2. Bagong Henerasyon of Quezon City Councilor Bernadette Herrera
3. Kasosyo of former Secretary Nasser Pangandaman
4. Ang Kasangga currently represented by big businessman Rep. Teodorico T. Haresco
5. Agrarian Development Association (ADA) of the Singson family in Ilocos
6. AAMBIS-OWWA of Sharon Garin of the Garin political clan
7. Alay Buhay of Weslie Gatchalian,
8. Agbiag! Of Rep. Patricio Antonio
9. Association of Labor and Employees (ALE) of Rep. Catalina Bagasina, known as the richest partylist congressperson with a net worth of more than P100 million
10. A Teacher with nominees Rep. Piamonte, Rep. Cortuna
11. Agricultural Sector Alliance of the Philippines (AGAP) of Rep. Briones
12. 1JAMG of Homero Mercado, also a multimillionaire
13. Buhay – linked to the Velardes of El Shaddai
14. Yacap of Rep. Lopez
15. Arts Business and Science Professionals of Rep. Catalina Pizarro
16. Abante Retirees of former representative Plaridel Abaya, father of DOTC secretary Jun Abaya
“Comelec’s campaign of cleansing the partylist system is not thoroughgoing and appears selective. It retained many incumbent partylist groups that are represented or were created by wealthy families that are already well-entrenched in power, while it denied the accreditation of partylist groups that truly represent marginalized sectors,” Fr Dizon said.
Kontra Daya pointed out that Comelec is only muddling the basis and standard for the qualification of partylist groups.
“The Law clearly states that only marginalized and underrepresented sectors are allowed to run in the partylist elections, and yet Comelec is not following this to the letter. Comelec is now giving previously disqualified partylist groups the opportunity to question its earlier ruling on their cases,” added Fr. Dizon.
Kontra Daya said it will meet with its lawyers to determine the next course of action in moving for the complete clean-up of the partylist system.
Kontra Daya’s review of the partylists seeking posts in 2013 can be found in these links