May 11, 2018

Be wary of party-list groups with too many political ads – Kontra DayaKontra Daya again raises alarm regarding party-list groups with so many print, radio, television and online political advertisements.

Spending millions (or billions as the case may be) for political ads raises questions about whether or not these groups belong to and represent the marginalized and underrepresented. It also raises new obstacles for the genuine, marginalized groups who wish to participate in the party-list race.

With these party-list groups having money to burn, so to speak, they obviously have the backing of big businesses and political dynasties and consequently have an edge insofar as political ads are concerned.

The preponderance of political ads from these party-list groups highlights how the rich and powerful have dominated the party-list race, to the detriment of party-list groups that truly belong to the marginalized and underrepresented sectors.

Voters should be wary of the big business and dynastic party-list groups.

1PACMAN and JUAN MOVEMENT can spend for expensive TV advertisements, for example, because they are both backed by the Romero family. Aside from the latter, JUAN MOVEMENT is also backed by the Llave family as its first nominee is president and CEO of Llavecon Builders and Development Corporation.

Political ads of WOW PILIPINAS MOVEMENT, on the other hand, are due to the backing of the Keng family as the first nominee happens to be the daughter of Wilfredo Keng, the businessman close to President Duterte who filed a libel case against Maria Ressa of Rappler.

Meanwhile, political ads of ACT-CIS party-list raise questions after some members of the Tulfo family were implicated in an anomalous government transaction during the term of Tourism Secretary Wanda Tulfo-Teo.

We urge voters to be very critical and discerning of party-list groups. Let us always remember that the Party-list System Act was enacted in 1995 to give a voice to the marginalized and underrepresented, not to provide another platform for political dynasties and big business interests.

Contact person: Danilo Arao, convenor, Kontra Daya

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