Manila Times - - Opinion - Yum­abong Buhay Hayaang allinsight.mani­la­ www.face­­sight. Manila.Times

THE Com­mis­sion on Elec­tions ( Com­elec), through Res­o­lu­tion 10420, pro­mul­gated the rules and reg­u­la­tions gov­ern­ing the sub­mis­sion of nom­i­nees of groups vy­ing for party-list rep­re­sen­ta­tion, among oth­ers, in the May 13, 2019 na­tional and lo­cal elec­tions.

Or­ga­ni­za­tions and groups as­pir­ing to be elected un­der the party-list sys­tem have been given a week, start­ing from Thurs­day this week and end­ing on Wed­nes­day next week,


of ac­cep­tance of nom­i­na­tion. The

for the na­tional po­si­tion of se­na­tor. Sen. Aquilino “Koko” Pi­mentel 3rd -

Com­elec Law De­part­ment. How­ever, some po­lit­i­cal purists will be seek­ing

that he has al­ready been elected and served two suc­ces­sive terms. Run­ning for a third term as a se­na­tor is against the Con­sti­tu­tion.

Party-list law

The party-list sys­tem was cre­ated by the 1987 Con­sti­tu­tion whose Sec­tion 5, Ar­ti­cle VI states that, “on the ba­sis of a uni­form and pro­gres­sive ra­tio, and those who, as pro­vided by law, shall be elected through a party-list sys­tem of reg­is­tered na­tional, re­gional, and sec­toral par­ties or or­ga­ni­za­tions. The party-list rep­re­sen­ta­tives shall con­sti­tute twenty per cen­tum of the to­tal num­ber of rep­re­sen­ta­tives in­clud­ing those un­der the party list.”

Like­wise, the Con­sti­tu­tion man­dates that party- list repre

- tion or elec­tion from the la­bor, peas­ant, ur­ban poor, in­dige­nous cul­tural com­mu­ni­ties, women, youth, ex­cept the religious sec­tor.

Repub­lic Act 7941, or the Party-List Sys­tem Act, was en­acted in March 1995 to give full force and ef­fect to the above-men­tioned pro­vi­sions of the Con­sti­tu­tion. The pri­mary pur­pose of the law was to “en­able Filipino cit­i­zens be­long­ing to marginal­ized and un­der-rep­re­sented sec­tors, or­ga­ni­za­tions and par­ties, and who lack well-

who could con­trib­ute to the for­mu­la­tion and en­act­ment of ap­pro­pri­ate

as a whole, to be­come mem­bers of the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives.“

Previous elec­tions top­notch­ers

The As­so­ci­a­tion of Philip­pine Elec­tric Co­op­er­a­tives (APEC) topped the 1998 elec­tions. Bayan Muna dom­i­nated the 2001 and 2004 elec­tions while

(BUHAY), a re­li­gious­based party-list, took the top seats in 2007 and 2013. Ako Bikol (AKB), rep­re­sent­ing the Bi­col re­gion and the Bi­colano peo­ple, won the most votes in the 2010 and 2016 elec­tions.

A to­tal of 46 groups won the party-list elec­tions in 2016. AKB got the max­i­mum three seats al­lowed for each party-list, while 11 other groups got two seats each.

Fake party-lists

The party-list law has not achieved its avowed pur­pose. A cur­sory re­view of the win­ning or­ga­ni­za­tions, and their nom­i­nees, will show that most are nei­ther marginal­ized nor

even one party-list that rep­re­sents

to care for peo­ple’s eyes.

Ma­jor­ity of the party-list nom­i­nees are mem­bers of po­lit­i­cal clans — brother or sis­ter of an elected con­gress­man, son of a for­mer con­gress­man, wife of a pro­vin­cial gov­er­nor, out­go­ing con­gress­man, for­mer mayor, and the list goes on.

The law en­vis­aged the party-list rep­re­sen­ta­tives to con­trib­ute to the for­mu­la­tion and en­act­ment of ap-

con­stituents in par­tic­u­lar and the na­tion as a whole. How­ever, most of these party-list “leg­is­la­tors” have not suc­cess­fully done their leg­isla­tive jobs. How many bills have they

Sec­tion 6 of RA 7941 lists down eight grounds by which the reg­is­tra­tion of a party-list or­ga­ni­za­tion may be can­celled by the Com­elec. Clearly, it is time the law is amended to in­clude a new ground for the can­cel­la­tion of a party-list reg­is­tra­tion – fail­ure

while sit­ting in Congress.

Read­ers’ com­ments

I first wrote about the party- list sys­tem some­time in Au­gust 2016. Here are the top two com­ments elicited by the col­umn:

From a cer­tain JAY R: “Enough of the stu­pid­ity. Stop in­vok­ing the Con­sti­tu­tion when it is so ob­vi­ous

Any­way, how would you de­cide on which party-list or­ga­ni­za­tion

look for a truly “le­git­i­mate” partylist, which will ad­vance and pro­mote your wel­fare. What are your

Think over this quote from Amer­i­can car­toon­ist and hu­morist Frank McKin­ney Hub­bard: “We would all like to vote for the best man, but he is never a can­di­date.”

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