April 8, 2013
The poll watchdog group Kontra Daya today said that the recent Supreme Court decision allowing non-marginalized groups and nominees to join the partylist system practically puts “the final nail on the coffin of the partylist system as a social justice tool”.
“The partylist system has long been abused and undermined by the rich and powerful. This SC decision is the last nail on the coffin. The SC has legitimized the domination of the rich and powerful, the political dynasties, and the various special interest groups of the elite. The marginalized sectors will continuously be eased out,” said Fr. Joe Dizon, convenor of Kontra Daya.
“Under these SC guidelines, the Aquinos, Arroyos, Cojuangcos and Ampatuans can all field partylist groups,” Dizon said.
Since last year, Kontra Daya has been waging a battle before the Comelec to cleanse the partylist system of questionable groups who represent the rich and powerful. Several groups were disqualified but many were also retained despite their questionable qualifications. Those disqualified brought their case to the Supreme Court, which in turn favored their petitions.
“Despite the odds, we will continue to fight. We will continue to fight in the summary hearings that Comelec will call in the coming days. We will continue to fight these questionable groups who have made a mockery of the original intent of the partylist system. We call on the people to show their protest by not voting for the partylist groups of the rich and powerful,” Dizon added.
Kontra Daya lamented that even major political parties, through their so-called “sectoral wing” can now participate in the partylist race. “Will we soon be seeing entities like the Liberal Party-Youth, Liberal Party-Women, Liberal Party-Urban Poor joining the partylist race?” Dizon asked.
For its part, the umbrella group Bagong Alyansang Makabayan said that it was the Aquino government, the Comelec and the Supreme Court who are all to blame for the destruction of the partylist system.
“It seems that the ruling classes- through the Supreme Court, the Comelec and the Aquino regime- have now taken back whatever minor political concession they have given the poor over the past years. The message is clear. Political power, including the partylist system, will remain firmly in the hands of the elite,” said Bayan secretary general Renato M. Reyes, Jr.
“The Aquino government encouraged and tolerated its non-marginalized political allies like Akbayan, Abante Retirees and Black and White Movement to abuse the partylist system. The Comelec retained many questionable groups. Now comes the Supreme Court legitimizing the participation of the rich and powerful. Truly, the electoral system has again showed its patent bias for the ruling elite while at the same time further marginalizing the already marginalized,” Reyes added. ###