14 October 2009
Comelec delisted 26 partylist without due process – Migrante
The global alliance of Filipino migrant organizations assailed the Comelec for failing to conduct any hearing before removing 26 partylist groups from the list of registered national, regional or sectoral parties, organizations or coalitions.
"The Comelec decision is highly irregular since it veered away from the process where partylist are only removed from the list after due notice and hearing as provided by law. This time, however, the Comelec issued a resolution to remove 26 partylist groups first then asked concerned parties to just submit written opposition if there are any. This is unacceptable," Garry Martinez, chairperson of Migrante International exclaimed.
Martinez was pertaining to the Comelec’s en banc resolution no. 8679 that was issued October 13, 2009, ordering the removal of partylist groups who allegedly failed to comply with Section 6, item no. 8 of Republic Act 7941, otherwise known as the Partylist System Act.
The said provision cites the grounds for the exclusion of partylist which failed to participate in two preceding election or failed to obtain at least two percentum of the votes cast in the two preceding elections.
"In addition to the lack of due process, the Comelec likewise committed a gross mistake when it removed 5 of the 26 partylist just because they failed to get 2 percent in one election and was not able to participate in another election. This clearly negates the qualifier in the provision wherein the instance of failure should be committed twice and in two preceding elections,” Martinez asserted.
The group explained that the Comelec is now getting desperate in its aim to shorten the list of participating partylist groups in the 2010 elections. There are about 150 partylist groups that participated in the last 2007 elections while more than 300 new partylist groups have filed their petition for registration this year.
“If the Comelec found the list of participating partylist groups ridiculously too long for the coming election, it has no other one to blame but itself. It was the sole agency that approved the registration of those partylist who cannot even be considered as part of the marginalized sector as defined in the Constitution. The Comelec’s desperate scheme to reduce the numbers of participating partylist groups at present should not be done at the expense of the true and legitimate representatives of marginalized sectors,” Martinez protested.
Migrante, Abanse Pinay, AK, PCDO-ACTO and PGBI were the five partylist groups which have not committed two instances of failure to participate or failure to obtain 2% votes in two preceding elections yet were still deleted in the list by the Comelecs en banc resolution.
"This is anomalous and we will certainly file a formal protest against this Comelec resolution. Unfortunately, it is only the Malacanang backed partylist groups who are going to benefit from this Comelec decision while legitimate representatives of the marginalized sectors of our society are getting denied of their right to due proccess," lamented Martinez.
Last 2007 election, Comelec Chairman Abalos refused to heed the calls of different groups to reveal the nominees of participating partylist groups being suspected as mere fronts of Malacanang. Among them were Maria Lourdes Arroyo, sister of First Gentleman Mike Arroyo, of Ang Kasangga Partylist, and Jovito Palparan of Bantay Partylist who both were given a seat in congress after the Supreme Court decision last April.
Other partylist groups that were delisted by the Comelec resolution are Aging Pinoy, Ahonbayan, AKSA, Akapin, Asap, A Smile, Assalam, BTM, Bahandi,Cocofed, Grecon, Nelffi, PMAP, SM, Sanlakas, SPI, Suara, Anak Mahirap, and Aba Ako Partylist.
Garry Martinez, Chairperson, 09393914418
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