Comelec approves 79 party-list groups
MANILA, Philippines (4th UPDATE) – The Commission on Elections (Comelec) will allow 79 groups to run in the 2013 party-list race, Comelec Chair Sixto Brillantes Jr said Thursday, November 29.
Those allowed by the Comelec to run include the following controversial groups: Gabriela, Anakpawis, Buhay, and An Waray. The poll body also allowed the gay rights group Ang Ladlad to run in 2013.
"We cannot have any perfect listing. We attempted the best that we can. We have reduced the party list to 79," Brillantes said in an interview with reporters.
Brillantes, a veteran election lawyer before he joined the Comelec, said the commission could have done better.
“I am not satisfied. If you're going to ask me, ako mismo, gusto ko na sanang in-abolish na lahat 'yan para wala nang eleksyon sa party list. Para magbago na tayo, at mag-umpisa na naman tayo ng panibagong batas na maganda,” he said. (I am not satisfied. If you're going to ask me, I want to abolish all of them so we wouldn't have party-list elections. So we can change, and start a new and better law.)
He also explained that the Comelec acted collegially in resolving these cases, with commissioners voting individually. He said there was inconsistency among them, echoing a previous statement that their deliberations on party-list groups tend to be arbitrary. (Watch more in the video below.)
The approved party-list groups comprise less than a third, or 27%, of the original 289 applicants for 2013. Of the 289 applicants, 124 had an existing Comelec accreditation while 165 were new applicants.
If the Comelec will accredit more groups, it will not exceed 5, Brillantes said.
This is the lowest number of party-list groups that Comelec allowed to run, at least in the past 6 years.
Records show that the Comelec allowed 187 party-list groups to run in 2010, the last national elections held in the Philippines. In 2010, Comelec had to allow 187 groups on the ballot because the disqualification process was not yet finished during ballot printing.
In the elections before this, held in 2007, the Comelec accredited 153 groups.
In a unanimous vote, the Comelec retained the accreditation of the following groups for 2013:
- ATM - Abante Tribung Makabansa
- Act Teachers - Act Teachers Party-List
- A Teacher - Advocacy for Teacher Empowerment Through Action, Cooperation, and Harmony Towards Educational Reforms
- Agila - Agila ng Katutubong Pilipino Inc
- AFPSEGCO - Alliance for Philippine Security Guards Cooperative
- Ave - Alliance of Volunteer Educators Party-List
- Allumad - Alyansa Lumad Mindanao Inc
- Agham - Alyansa ng mga Grupong Haligi ng Agham at Teknolohiya para sa Mamamayan Inc
- Amin - Anak Mindanao Party-List
- Ang Ladlad
- Angkla - Ang Partido ng mga Pilipinong Marino Inc
- Gabriela - Gabriela Women's Party
- KLBP - Kababaihang Lingkod Bayan sa Pilipinas
- Kabataan Party-List
- Kaakbay - Katipunan ng mga Anak ng Bayan All Filipino Democratic Movement
- Katribu - Katribu Indigenous Peoples Sectoral Party
- 1-Sagip - Social Amelioration and Genuine Intervention on Poverty
- TUCP - Trade Union Congress Party
With dissenting commissioners, the Comelec retained the accreditation of the following party-list groups:
- 1BAP - 1 Banat and Ahapo Party-List Coalition
- Abakada - Abakada-Guro
- Abante Ka - Abante Katutubo Inc
- Abamin - Abante Mindanao
- Abono Party-List
- Adam - Adhikain ng mga Dakilang Anak Maharlika
- Ating Koop - Adhikaing Tinataguyod ng Kooperatiba
- Agbiag - Agbiag Timpuyog Ilocano Inc
- Ada - Agrarian Development Association
- Agap - Agricultural Sector Alliance of the Philippines
- Akapbata Inc - Akapbata Sectoral Organization for Children Inc
- Akbayan - Akbayan Citizens' Action Party
- Ako - Ako Ayoko sa Bawal na Droga
- Alay Buhay - Alay Buhay Community Development Foundation Inc
- AMS - Alyansa ng Media at Showbiz
- Alyansa ng OFW Party
- Aba - Alyansang Bayanihan ng mga Magsasaka, Manggagawang Bukid, at Mangingisda
- An Waray
- Aambis-Owa - Ang Asosasyon Sang Mangunguma Nga Bisaya-Owa Mangunguma Inc
- Alif - Ang Laban ng Indiginong Filipino
- Ama - Ang Mata'y Alagaan
- Ang NCIP - Ang National Coalition of Indigenous Peoples Action Na
- ABS - Arts Business and Science Professionals
- Ale - Association of Laborers and Employees
- BH - Bagong Henerasyon
- Bayan Muna
- Buhay - Buhay Hayaan Yumabong
- Cibac - Citizens' Battle Against Corruption
- Coop Natcco - Cooperative Natcco Network Party
- Diwa - Democratic Independent Workers' Association Inc
- Ang Kasangga - Kasangga sa Kaunlaran Inc
- AA Kasosyo - Kasosyo Producer
- LPGMA - LPG Marketers Association Inc
- PBA - Puwersa ng Bayaning Atleta
- 1 Ang Pamilya - Una ang Pamilya Party-List
- VFP - Veterans Freedom Party
- Yacap - You Against Corruption and Poverty
The Comelec also accredited 21 new applicants.
Unanimously, the Comelec accredited the following new applicants:
- AMA - Aagapay sa Matatanda
- Ang Nars
- Aasenso - Ating Agapay Sentrong Samahan ng mga Obrero Inc
- PWD - Pilipinos with Disabilities
- Piston - Piston Land Transport Coalition Inc
The poll body also allowed the following new applicants to run, but with dissenting commissioners:
- 1JAMG - 1 Joint Alliance of Marginalized Group Inc
- 1-AAMOVER - A Action Moral & Values Recovery Reform Philippines Inc
- Abante Retirees - Abante Retirees Party-List Organization
- Ading - Advance Community Development in New Generation
- Ang Prolife
- ACT-CIS - Anti-Crime and Terrorism Community Involvement and Support Inc
- Append Inc
- Amor Seaman - Association of Marine Officer and Ratings Inc
- 1-Aalalay - Isang Alyansang Aalalay sa Pinoy
- 1-Lambat - Isang Lapian ng Mangingisda at Bayan Tungo sa Kaunlaran
- 1-Pabahay - Isang Pangarap ng Bahay sa Bagong Buhay ng Maralitang Kababayan Inc
- Magdalo - Magdalo para sa Pilipino
- MTM Phils - Mamamayan Tungo sa Maunlad na Pilipinas
- Migrante - Migrante Sectoral Party of Overseas Filipinos and their Families
- OFW Family Club Inc
- Umalab Ka - Ugnayan ng Maralita Laban sa Kahirapan
The Comelec, meanwhile, cancelled the accreditation of the following groups:
- 1st Kabagis
- Senior Citizen Party
It also denied the new application of the group Alona.
This is unprecedented for the Comelec, said Brillantes, with the poll body disqualifying incumbent party-list groups for the first time. In an earlier interview, he said the Comelec did this purge because “the party-list system has gone out of bounds.” (Watch more in the video below.)
“Mabuti siguro, we better send a message already, na hindi naman biruan itong party-list. Sige, mag-apply kayo. Okay lang sa amin. Tatanggapin namin ang P10,000 filing fee n'yo, pero hindi kayo nakakasiguro. Malamang hindi kayo ma-accredit,” Brillantes said.
(It might be good to send a message already, that this party-list system is not a joke. Okay, apply. It's okay on our part. We will accept your P10,000 filing fee, but you cannot be certain. You won't likely get accredited.) – Rappler.com
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