POSTSCRIPT / April 19, 2007 / Thursday
Many Party-List sectors don’t look ‘marginalized’
By FEDERICO D. PASCUAL JR.

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FREE-FOR-ALL: Instead of, or in addition to, the Commission on Elections ordering political parties to explain themselves, the Comelec should be ordered by the Supreme Court to explain why it allowed Party-List groups to proliferate like weeds.

The list of the 93 sectoral parties, organizations, parties and coalitions permitted to participate in the Party-List system in the May 14 elections shows that the Comelec may have recklessly flung open the gate to just about any group that could whip up an acronym.

Many Party-List groups certified by the Comelec sport names that do not even give a hint of who they are or what they exist for — much less indicate that they are, indeed, marginalized.

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PERTINENT LAW: Rep. Act 7941 providing for a Party-List system intends to “enable Filipino citizens belonging to the MARGINALIZED AND UNDERREPRESENTED sectors, organizations and parties, and who lack well-defined political constituencies but who could contribute to the formulation and enactment of appropriate legislation that will benefit the nation as a whole, to become members of the House of Representatives.” (Capitals mine — fdp)

Section 5 (2) of Article VI (Legislative Department) of the Constitution says that Party-List representatives shall constitute 20 percent of the total number of congressmen.

After the elections, the Party-List groups will be ranked from the highest to the lowest based on the number of votes they had garnered. Those receiving at least 2 percent of the total votes cast for Party-List shall get one seat each, or more if they get proportionately more votes, but not to exceed three seats.

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CHECKLIST: Scan the list below of all the Party-List groups certified by Comelec. By their names, can you guess (assuming you have the time and patience to guess) what “marginalized and underrepresented” sectors or interests they probably represent?

1-United Transport Koalisyon (1-Utak); AA-Kasosyo Party (AA Kasosyo); Aangat Tayo (AT), Abakada Guro (Abakada); Abanse! Pinay; Abante Ilonggo Inc. (Aba Ilonggo); Abono; Action for Democracy and Development for the Tribal People (ADD-Tribal); Action for Dynamic Development Inc. (ADD); Advocacy for Teacher Empowerment through Action, Cooperation, and Harmony towards Education Reforms Inc. (A Teacher);

Advocates for Special Children and the Handicapped Movement ( Asahan Mo); Abiag! Timpuyog Ilocano Inc. (Agbiag); Aging Filipino Organization Inc. (Aging Pinoy); Agricultural Sector Alliance of the Philippines Inc. (Agap); Ahon Pinoy (Ahon); Ahon Bayan (AhonBayan); Akbay Pinoy OFW-National Inc. (APO); Akbayan! Citizen’s Action Party (Akbayan); Aksyon Sambayanan (Aksa); Alagad; Alay sa Bayan ng Malayang Propesyonal at Reformang Kalakal (Abay Parak);

Alliance for Barangay Concerns (ABC); Alliance for Nationalism and Democracy (ANAD); Alliance of Associations of Accredited Workers in the Water Sector Inc. (AAWAS); Alliance of Neo-Conservatives (ANC); Alliance of People’s Organizations (APO); Alliance of Rural Concerns (ARC); Alliance of Vendors and Traders of the Philippines (Vendors); Alliance of Volunteer Educators (AVE); Alliance of Transport Sector (ATS);

Alyansa ng Mamamayang Naghihirap (Almana); Alyansa ng May Kapansanang Pinoy (Akap); Alyansa ng mga Grupong Haligi ng Agham at Teknolohiya para sa Mamamayan Inc. (Agham); Alyansa ng Sambayanan para sa Pagbabago (ASAP); Alyansang Bayanihan ng Magsasaka, Manggagawang Bukid at Mangingisda-Adhikain at Kilusan ng Ordinaryong Tao (ABA-AKO); An Waray; Anak Mindano (Amin); Anak Pawis; Ang Bagong Bayan na Nagtataguyod ng Demokratikong Ideologiya at Layunin;

Ang Galing Pinoy (AG); Ang Laban ng Indiginong Filipino (ALIF); Ang Samahan ng mga Mangangalakal para sa Ikauunlad ng Lokal na Ekonomiya (A Smile); Angat Antas Kabuhayan Pilpino Movement (Aangat Ka Filipino); Angat Ating Kabuhayan Pilipinas Inc. (Anak); Arts Business and Science Professionals (ABS); Asosasyon ng mga Maliliit na Negosyanteng Gumaganap (Amang); Assalam Bangsamoro People’s Party (Assalam);

Association of Administrators, Professionals and Seniors (AAPS); Association of Philippine Electric Cooperatives (Apec); Babae para sa Kaunlaran (Babae Ka); Bago National Cultural Society of the Philippines (Bago); Bagong Alyansang Tagapagtaguyod ng Adhikaing Sambayanan (Batas); Bagong Tao Movement (BTM); Bahandi sa Kaumahan ug Kadagatan (Bahandi); Barangay Association for National Advancement of Transparency (Banat);

Bayan Muna; Bigkis Pinoy Movement (Bigkis); Biyaheng Pinoy (BP); Biyayang Bukid; Buhay Hayaan Yumabong (Buhay); Citizens’ Battle Against Corruption (Cibac); Coalition of Associations of Senior Citizens in the Philippines Inc. (Senior Citizens); Cocofed-Philippine Coconut Producers Federation Inc. (Cocofed); Confederation of Grains Retailers Association of the Philippines (GreCon);

Cooperative-Natco Network Party (Coop-NATCO); Democratic Independent Workers Association Inc. (Diwa); Filipinos for Peace, Justice and Progress Movement (FPJPM); Gabriela Women’s Party (Gabriela); Hanay ng Aping Pinoy (Hapi); Kabataan; Kabukluran ng mga Kababaihang Filipina sa Timog Katagalugan (Buklod Filipina); Kalahi-Advocates for Overseas Filipinos (Kalahi);

Kapatiran ng mga Nakulong na Walang Sala (Kakusa); Kasangga sa Kaunlaran Inc. (Ang Kasangga); Koalisyon ng Katutubong Samahan ng Pilipinas (Kasapi); Luzon Farmers Party (Butil); Novelty Entrepreneurship and Livelihood for Food Inc. (NELFFI); Parents Enabling Parents Coalition Party (PEP); Partido ng Manggagawa (PM); People’s Movement Against Poverty (PMAP); Pwersa ng Bayaning Atleta (PBA); Sandigang Maralita (SM); Sanlakas; Seaman’s Party Inc. (SPI);

Suara Bangsamoro (Suara); Sulong! Barangay Movement (SB); The True Marcos Loyalist (for God, Country and People) Association of the Philippines Inc. (Bantay); Trade Union Congress Party (TUCP); Union of the Masses for Democracy and Justice (UMDJ); United Movement Against Drugs (Uni-MAD); Veterans Freedom Party (VFP); You Against Corruption and Poverty (YACAP); and the Youth League for Peace Advancement (LYPAD).

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