Comelec on Revillame party list: Too self-serving

The Comelec bars the party-list group of actor Willie Revillame, among 31 others, from participating in the 2013 party-list race

PARTY-LIST FOUNDER. Game show host Willie Revillame is a founder of 1 Wil Serve, which the Comelec barred from running for party list. Photo from tv5.com.ph

MANILA, Philippines – What does the group of actor Willie Revillame plan to represent in Congress? Nothing more than itself, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) said.

In a 13-page resolution sent to Rappler, the Comelec First Division denied the bid of Revillame’s group, 1 Wil Serve, to run in the 2013 party-list race.

The Comelec on Monday, December 3, said 1 Wil Serve, or Wil, was among 32 groups prohibited from running after the poll body’s divisions declared them ineligible. The 32 groups did not file motions for reconsideration.

Penned by First Division Commissioner Rene Sarmiento, the resolution said 1 Wil Serve “actually intends to represent” Wilfoundation Inc – “not the urban poor, elderly, women, and professionals of Regions II, III, IV, and the National Capital Region.”

“Wil failed to convince this commission that it is an entity separate and distinct from Wilfoundation Inc,” said the resolution, which was concurred in by First Division Commissioners Armando Velasco and Christian Robert Lim, and was promulgated on October 29.

Popular for his game shows that give doleouts to the poor, Revillame in April said 1 Wil Serve is an “evolution” of his foundation. 

In 1 Wil Serve’s constitution and by-laws, the group said it aims, among others: 

  • to be the arm of Wilfoundation Inc in assisting, helping, aiding, and alleviating the plight of the urban poor and the elderly, promote women’s rights, and enhance the skills of professionals

  • to implement the purposes and objectives of Wilfoundation Inc, and support its policies and programs that advance local-driven growth initiatives and developments of the urban poor and the elderly

The group claimed to have conducted outreach activities along with the staff and crew of Wiltime Bigtime, Revillame’s game show on TV5, for several organizations. These include the Luwalhati ng Maynila Home for the Aged, White Cross Orphanage, residents of Payatas A in Quezon City, and children and wives of Armed Forces of the Philippines personnel.

But the Comelec said 1 Wil Serve “does not sufficiently demonstrate its knowledge about the needs of each and every sector of the urban poor, elderly, women, and professionals, and thus that it is capable of representing them.”

The Comelec also called attention to the group’s nominees, namely:

  1. Ferdinand Domingo, lawyer
  2. Christopher Reyno, human resources officer
  3. Leonard De Vera, lawyer
  4. Lemuel Santos, lawyer
  5. Peter Francis Zagala, lawyer

The poll body said the nominees do not belong to the sectors they claim to represent. Also, the group’s constitution and by-laws show that its membership is open to all Filipinos – not to specific groups that “share the same advocacy for genuine issues affecting their basic human rights.”

Meanwhile, the Comelec on Monday said it has also finally disqualified the following groups for failing to file motions for reconsideration:

  1. 1 Adhikain – Adbokasiya para sa mga Handikap at Ispesyal na Kabataan, Itaguyod Natin 
  2. 1-AK – 1-Aangat Ka Pilipino
  3. 1-Asal
  4. 1EPinoy
  5. Aamor – Aabante Aaksyonan Abusado Amor
  6. Ako ba – Ako at ang Basura
  7. Ako Karay-a
  8. Batang Pinoy – Ako para sa Batang Pinoy
  9. ATM – Aktibong Tricycle ng Masa Inc
  10. Adam-Bantay Pasahero – Alliance for Democracy and Morality-Bantay Pasahero
  11. Aruga – Alliance of Rural and Urban Groups for Social Advancement
  12. Apa – Alyansa ng mga Pilipino sa Abroad
  13. Tubig H20 – Ang Tubig ay Bigay Policy Reform Movement
  14. Ama ng Pilipinas – Aniban ng Magtutubig
  15. BM – Bangon Mangingisda
  16. Best Guardians – Bonafide and Enlightened Scions of Truth Guardians Coalition
  17. MBS – D’ Manggagawa Balo Solo Parent Senior Citizen Civic Community
  18. 1-Gumil – Gumil Filipinas Inc
  19. Ina – Ina ng Bayan
  20. Advocates of Overseas Filipinos – Kalahi Sectoral Party
  21. MAF – Mindanao Allied Forces Inc
  22. 1Abayan – Nagkaisang Alay sa Bayan ng Maka-Diyos at Makabayang Nangangalakal
  23. NCPD – National Crusaders for Peace and Democracy
  24. Philippine Banana Pioneer Foundation Inc
  25. Poorfreecoll
  26. Sararong Bicolnon
  27. Tabakk – Tanod Bayan Kontra Krimen
  28. Upthoda
  29. UPDS – Urban Poor and Development Services Inc
  30. @1 Vendors – Vendors Aggrupation
  31. Wow Philippines Political Party

The Comelec has based its party-list purge on a Supreme Court ruling, Ang Bagong Bayani vs Comelec, that says only marginalized groups can run for party list. It also says, among other things, that party-list nominees should belong to the sectors they claim to represent. 

In an unprecedented move, the Comelec last Thursday, November 29, said it would only allow 79 groups to run in the 2013 party-list race. This is 27% of the original 289 party-list applicants for 2013. – Rappler.com

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