Kontra Daya calls for voter vigilance as party-list groups of the rich and powerful continue to dominate survey. The Pulse Asia nationwide survey for party-list representatives released last April 25 shows not just a disappointing trend but also an alarming tendency. It is disappointing that even if party-list elections have been held since 1998, a little more than one-fourth of the respondents are still reportedly unaware when asked if they have read or watched anything about the party-list system. While the current 74-percent awareness to the party-list system is an improvement from the nine previously conducted surveys where the awareness ranged from 46 percent (January 2016) to 72 percent (March 2013), the significance of the party-list election is still lost on a substantial number of voters. Considering that there are about 60 million Filipinos who are eligible to vote on May 13, a 26-percent unawareness would translate to about 15.6 million voters who have little or no information at all about the party-list election.What proves to be alarming is that out of the 58 party-list representatives who might be elected based on the survey results, at least 34 of them (1) have links to political dynasties or officials already elected in other positions; (2) represent special business interests; or (3) possess questionable advocacies and nominees: This means that majority of those who may get elected do not belong to the marginalized and underrepresented sectors they claim to represent and are instead representatives of interests of political dynasties and big business.Based on the research conducted by Kontra Daya, these groups include:

  • Ako Bicol Political (#141) Party, 3 seats
  • A Teacher (#131), 3 seats
  • Buhay (#87), 2 seats
  • An Waray Party-list (#43), 2 seats
  • Kalinga (#109), 2 seats
  • Angkla (#36), 2 seats
  • ACT-CIS (#101), 1 seat
  • Tingog Sinirangan (#99), 1 seat
  • APEC Party-list (#24), 1 seat
  • AAMBIS-OWA (#112), 1 seat
  • AGAP (#115), 1 seat
  • PBA (#26), 1 seat
  • Abamin (#124), 1 seat
  • Kusug Tausug (#9), 1 seat
  • Butil (#158), 1 seat
  • OFW Family (#7), 1 seat
  • Kabayan (#2), 1 seat
  • 1PACMAN (#122), 1 seat
  • Abono (#76), 1 seat
  • Duterte Youth (#157), 1 seat
  • Global (#10), 1 seat
  • Ating Koop (#144), 1 seat
  • BH Bagong Henerasyon (#53), 1 seat
  • YACAP (#137), 1 seat
  • Abang Lingkod (#163), 1 seat
  • Alona (#96), 1 seat

The identification of these questionable party-list groups is based on a 39-page voter’s guide on the party-list election released by Kontra Daya last April 24 (i.e., a day before the Pulse Asia survey came out). Kontra Daya’s guide contains information on the nominees of the groups and may be retrieved from Kontra Daya PartyList Guide Kontra Daya reminds voters that the party-list system should serve the marginalized and underrepresented. Voters should be wary of party-list groups of known political dynasties and big business interests claiming to represent the poor. They should avoid party-list groups that have become family enterprises where nominees are confined to members of the same family. The party-list system should aim to broaden representation, not make it narrower to the point of representing the interests of one family. Dynasties among party-list groups go against the intent of the party-list system as stated in the Constitution. 

That the Pulse Asia survey was conducted from March 23 to 27 means that the results could be different on May 13, now that the voters are informed of how the rich and powerful are trying the hijack the party-list election.Contact person: Danilo A. Arao, Convenor, Kontra Daya

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