Mega-rich rep for partylist? Comelec to check SALNs

Rappler.com
Comelec says a review of the partylist nominees' SALN will determine who will be allowed to join the 2013 elections

MANILA, Philippines – The Commission on Elections (Comelec) will review the statements of assets, liabilities and net worth (SALNs) of incumbent partylist representatives to determine whether they will be allowed to join the 2013 partylist elections.

Commission on Elections (Comelec) chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr. said on Saturday, July 21, that there is a need to determine whether those partylist representatives who will be nominees again in next year’s poll really represent the marginalized sectors.

Election watchdog Kontra Daya has earlier noted that there are “mega-rich” partylist representatives in Congress “who cannot be considered marginalized.”

The group specifically mentioned Association of Laborers and Employees (ALE) Rep. Catalina Bagasina for being the richest partylist representative with P133.9 million net worth in 2011. Also identified was Ang Galing Pinoy Rep. Juan Miguel Arroyo, with P99.2 million networth last year, for having connections to political families and business interests.

“Our problem here is if you are a multimillionaire but you are representing the urban poor then that’s a little bit doubtful,” Brillantes said.

The partylist law does not mention anything about the financial capacity of the partylist group nominees. However, the law specifies that the nominee should be an active member of the group he is representing.

The poll body chair said that 127 previously-approved groups applied for reaccreditation for the 2013 elections, while there are 172 new groups vying for partylist accreditation.

Brillantes said the Comelec en ban would meet on July 26 to 27 to discuss new standards on accrediting partylist groups. – Rappler.com


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