MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine party list continues to serve as a backdoor to Congress for members of political dynasties.
There are at least nine political clans with a chance to have more power via party-list seats, based on Rappler’s computation from partial, unofficial results from 98.17% of precincts reporting as of May 11, 12:05 pm.
Party-list groups need at least 2% of the vote to be entitled one seat in Congress.
The 1987 Constitution created the party list as a system of proportional representation where various kinds of organizations, including those representing marginalized sectors – such as laborers, peasants, urban poor, indigenous peoples, women, and youth – could participate.
Analysts have found that political dynasties, which are already prohibited by the Constitution, have been using the party-list system as a backdoor to expanding their powers.
The Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism earlier found that at least 70 of the 177 party-list groups accredited by the Comelec for the 2022 elections have nominees who are connected to political clans or incumbent local or national elected officials.
Here’s a list of party-list groups poised to acquire one congressional seat each, and their nominees:
- Tingog Sinarangan, with a 2.42% share of votes at 872,318
- First nominee: Incumbent Tingog Representative Yedda Romualdez, wife of Leyte 1st District Representative Ferdinand Romualdez
- Citizens’ Battle Against Corruption (CIBAC), with 1.74% of votes at 628,595
- First nominee: Incumbent CIBAC Representative Eduardo “Eddie” Villanueva, father of Senator Joel Villanueva and brother-in-law of former CIBAC representative Sherwin Tugna
- An Waray, with 1.06% of votes at 383,304
- First nominee: Florencio Noel, husband of Malabon Representative Josephine Noel. His sister Victoria Noel also served as An Waray representative from 2013 to 2019.
- Ako Ilocano Ako (AIA), with 1.05% of votes at 379,251
- First nominee: Richelle Singson, daughter of former Ilocos Sur governor and incumbent Narvacan Mayor Luis “Chavit” Singson
- Second nominee: Allen Singson, former Candon mayor and nephew of Chavit Singson
- Third nominee: Chistian Singson, son of Chavit Singson
- Kusug Tausug, with 0.98% of votes at 352,629
- First nominee: Shernee Tan Tambut, daughter of Sulu Governor Abdusakur Tan
- Ang Asosasyon Sang Mangunguma Nga Bisaya-Owa Manguguma Incorporated (Aambis-OWA), with 0.68% of votes at 245,365
- First nominee: Lex Colada, brother-in-law of incumbent Aambis-OWA Representative Sharon Garin. Colada is married to Guimbal Mayor Jennifer Garin-Colada, Sharon’s sister.
These are the party-list groups with political clan members as second or third nominees. They can only get seats if their organizations garner 4% of the votes, or, in cases where the groups get only 2% of the votes, if the first or sitting nominee dies or resigns:
- Agricultural Sector Alliance of the Philippines (AGAP), with 1.01% of votes at 365,018
- Second nominee: Lala Sotto, daughter of Senate President Vicente Sotto III
- Anakalusugan, with 0.78% of votes at 280,035
- It’s original second nominee was Regina Mandanas, wife of Batangas Governor Hermilando Mandanas, who died a few days before election day. (Mrs. Mandanas herself was a former Marinduque congresswoman, from a political family). There were talks that Governor Mandanas’ brother was being considered to replace her as nominee.
- 1-PACMAN, with 0.75% of votes at 269,898
- Third nominee: Marlon Bautista, older brother of Senator Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr.