Comelec approves 79 party-list groups

(4th UPDATE) 'We cannot have any perfect listing. We attempted the best that we can,' Comelec Chair Sixto Brillantes Jr says

PARTY-LIST PURGE. Comelec Chair Sixto Brillantes Jr leads the poll body in an unprecedented purge of party-list groups. Photo by Paterno Esmaquel II

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.

Green light

In a unanimous vote, the Comelec retained the accreditation of the following groups for 2013:

  1. ATM – Abante Tribung Makabansa
  2. Act Teachers – Act Teachers Party-List 
  3. A Teacher – Advocacy for Teacher Empowerment Through Action, Cooperation, and Harmony Towards Educational Reforms
  4. Agila – Agila ng Katutubong Pilipino Inc
  5. Alagad 
  6. AFPSEGCO – Alliance for Philippine Security Guards Cooperative
  7. Ave – Alliance of Volunteer Educators Party-List
  8. Allumad – Alyansa Lumad Mindanao Inc
  9. Agham – Alyansa ng mga Grupong Haligi ng Agham at Teknolohiya para sa Mamamayan Inc
  10. Amin – Anak Mindanao Party-List
  11. Anakpawis
  12. Ang Ladlad
  13. Angkla – Ang Partido ng mga Pilipinong Marino Inc
  14. Gabriela – Gabriela Women’s Party
  15. KLBP – Kababaihang Lingkod Bayan sa Pilipinas
  16. Kabataan Party-List
  17. Kaakbay – Katipunan ng mga Anak ng Bayan All Filipino Democratic Movement
  18. Katribu – Katribu Indigenous Peoples Sectoral Party
  19. 1-Sagip – Social Amelioration and Genuine Intervention on Poverty 
  20. TUCP – Trade Union Congress Party

With dissenting commissioners, the Comelec retained the accreditation of the following party-list groups:

  1. 1BAP – 1 Banat and Ahapo Party-List Coalition
  2. Abakada – Abakada-Guro
  3. Abante Ka – Abante Katutubo Inc
  4. Abamin – Abante Mindanao
  5. Abono Party-List
  6. Adam – Adhikain ng mga Dakilang Anak Maharlika
  7. Ating Koop – Adhikaing Tinataguyod ng Kooperatiba
  8. Agbiag – Agbiag Timpuyog Ilocano Inc
  9. Ada – Agrarian Development Association
  10. Agap – Agricultural Sector Alliance of the Philippines
  11. Akapbata Inc – Akapbata Sectoral Organization for Children Inc
  12. Akbayan – Akbayan Citizens’ Action Party
  13. Ako – Ako Ayoko sa Bawal na Droga
  14. Alay Buhay – Alay Buhay Community Development Foundation Inc
  15. AMS – Alyansa ng Media at Showbiz
  16. Alyansa ng OFW Party
  17. Aba – Alyansang Bayanihan ng mga Magsasaka, Manggagawang Bukid, at Mangingisda
  18. An Waray
  19. Aambis-Owa – Ang Asosasyon Sang Mangunguma Nga Bisaya-Owa Mangunguma Inc
  20. Alif – Ang Laban ng Indiginong Filipino
  21. Ama – Ang Mata’y Alagaan
  22. Ang NCIP – Ang National Coalition of Indigenous Peoples Action Na
  23. ABS – Arts Business and Science Professionals
  24. Ale – Association of Laborers and Employees
  25. BH – Bagong Henerasyon
  26. Bayan Muna
  27. Buhay – Buhay Hayaan Yumabong 
  28. Cibac – Citizens’ Battle Against Corruption
  29. Coop Natcco – Cooperative Natcco Network Party
  30. Diwa – Democratic Independent Workers’ Association Inc 
  31. Kalinga
  32. Ang Kasangga – Kasangga sa Kaunlaran Inc
  33. AA Kasosyo – Kasosyo Producer
  34. LPGMA – LPG Marketers Association Inc
  35. PBA – Puwersa ng Bayaning Atleta
  36. 1 Ang Pamilya – Una ang Pamilya Party-List
  37. VFP –  Veterans Freedom Party
  38. Yacap – You Against Corruption and Poverty

New applicants

The Comelec also accredited 21 new applicants. 

Unanimously, the Comelec accredited the following new applicants:

  1. AMA – Aagapay sa Matatanda
  2. Ang Nars 
  3. Aasenso – Ating Agapay Sentrong Samahan ng mga Obrero Inc
  4. PWD – Pilipinos with Disabilities
  5. Piston – Piston Land Transport Coalition Inc

The poll body also allowed the following new applicants to run, but with dissenting commissioners:

  1. 1JAMG – 1 Joint Alliance of Marginalized Group Inc
  2. 1-AAMOVER – A Action Moral & Values Recovery Reform Philippines Inc
  3. Abante Retirees – Abante Retirees Party-List Organization
  4. Ading – Advance Community Development in New Generation
  5. Ang Prolife
  6. ACT-CIS – Anti-Crime and Terrorism Community Involvement and Support Inc
  7. Append Inc
  8. Amor Seaman – Association of Marine Officer and Ratings Inc
  9. 1-Aalalay – Isang Alyansang Aalalay sa Pinoy
  10. 1-Lambat – Isang Lapian ng Mangingisda at Bayan Tungo sa Kaunlaran
  11. 1-Pabahay – Isang Pangarap ng Bahay sa Bagong Buhay ng Maralitang Kababayan Inc
  12. Magdalo – Magdalo para sa Pilipino
  13. MTM Phils – Mamamayan Tungo sa Maunlad na Pilipinas
  14. Migrante – Migrante Sectoral Party of Overseas Filipinos and their Families
  15. OFW Family Club Inc
  16. Umalab Ka – Ugnayan ng Maralita Laban sa Kahirapan

The Comelec, meanwhile, cancelled the accreditation of the following groups:

  • 1-Utak
  • 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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