Over 120 new groups want to join 2022 party-list election – Comelec exec

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) is set to evaluate over a hundred applications from organizations to participate in the 2022 party-list election.

“More than 120 (groups) filed for registration (under the party-list system),” Comelec Commissioner Rowena Guanzon said in a tweet Wednesday, March 31.

March 31 was Comelec’s deadline for the filing of the following:

  • petitions for registration of party-list organizations
  • petitions for registration of political parties intending to participate in the party-list polls
  • existing party-list groups' manifestations of intent to participate in next year’s polls.

Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez previously said the deadline would not be extended despite the enforcement of an enhanced community quarantine in the Greater Manila Area, as groups may submit their petitions to Comelec electronically.

Dozens of organizations tried to beat the deadline on Wednesday, judging from the total of 75 that had filed their applications two days prior.

"As of [Monday, there are] 75 new petitioner-applicants for the party-list [poll]. Did they really exist for at least one year?" Guanzon tweeted on Monday.

Section 6 of Comelec Resolution 3307, issued in 2000, requires an organization to have been in existence for at least a year upon its application for registration.

In the past, applicant groups were rejected after failing to prove they had been in operation long before the elections.

Flaws in the system

Over the years, there have been persistent criticisms of the systemic flaws in the party list.

“The purpose [of the system] is to afford and guarantee the marginalized sectors of having representation in Congress which they cannot win in the traditional district elections,” Albay 1st District Representative Edcel Lagman, one of the principal authors of the Party-list System Act, said on May 21, 2019.

However, in a ruling in 2013, the Supreme Court upheld the provisions of the Constitution and the party list law – that the party list was not a reserved-seat system for particular sectors but a system of proportional representation where all types of organizations, including political parties, could participate.

Poll watchdog Kontra Daya has pointed out that almost half of party-list groups vying for seats in 2019 represented “the interests of well-entrenched political dynasties and big business interests,” citing the influential ties of their nominees. – Rappler.com