Hodgepodge party-list

  • China rejects Philippines armed robbery claim

    China rejects Philippines armed robbery claim

    AFP News
    China rejects Philippines armed robbery claim

    Beijing on Friday dismissed an accusation by Manila that the Chinese coastguard robbed Filipino fishermen at gunpoint during a confrontation in the disputed South China Sea, calling the claim "inconsistent with the fact". The rebuttal came one day after the Philippine fisheries bureau said that fishermen aboard three vessels with clear Chinese coastguard markings boarded two fishing boats in Scarborough Shoal earlier this month and took the crew's catch. The Scarborough Shoal lies 220 …

  • Indonesia moves Filipino inmate to island before executions

    Indonesia moves Filipino inmate to island before executions

    Associated Press
    Indonesia moves Filipino inmate to island before executions

    JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — A Filipino woman facing the death penalty in Indonesia was moved Friday to an island prison where she and nine other drug convicts are to be executed by firing squad. …

  • Philippines accuses China coastguard of armed robbery

    Philippines accuses China coastguard of armed robbery

    AFP News
    Philippines accuses China coastguard of armed robbery

    The Philippines accused the Chinese coastguard on Thursday of robbing Filipino fishermen at gunpoint during a series of confrontations at a disputed shoal in the hotly contested South China Sea. Fishermen aboard three vessels with clear Chinese coastguard markings boarded two Philippine fishing boats in Scarborough Shoal on April 11, then took the crew's catch, the Philippine fisheries bureau said. The two boats were among 20 Filipino vessels on an expedition in Scarborough Shoal, a rich …

  • Police: NYC airplane cleaner pocketed 1,429 liquor bottles

    Associated Press

    NEW YORK (AP) — Police say an airplane cleaner has been arrested on charges she pocketed nearly $15,000 worth of contraband from planes grounded in New York City, including nearly 1,500 unopened bottles of liquor. …

  • Attorneys: Memo shows special treatment for reserve deputy

    Attorneys: Memo shows special treatment for reserve deputy

    Associated Press
    Attorneys: Memo shows special treatment for reserve deputy

    TULSA, Okla. (AP) — Several members of an Oklahoma sheriff's department raised serious concerns years ago about the performance and training of a volunteer deputy now charged in the fatal shooting of a restrained suspect, according to a report released Friday by lawyers for the dead man's family. …

By Ramon Casiple for Yahoo! Southeast Asia

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) recently released a list of 79 accredited party-list groups, in addition to seven previously announced.

These 86 organizations, plus several more who may still be accredited or those which may be allowed by the Supreme Court to participate, will run in the 2013 party-list elections.

The Comelec obviously tried its best to weed out groups who—for one reason or another—fail the criteria Comelec sets for them. The problem is that the criteria seems to be only one—that is, if a party-list group gets the majority's vote, it passes. If not, it fails.

The Party-List Law (Republic Act 7941), and later the Supreme Court, in a June 2001 decision, put forward several criteria which the Comelec is now interpreting on its own.

This approach is fraught with unforeseen dangers. One, it almost guarantees motions for reconsideration and, eventually, appeal to the Supreme Court (which is the only body that can overturn an en banc Comelec decision.

Two, it opens the gate for lobbying with the individual commissioners, four of whom can automatically guarantee an accreditation.

Three, it is an open invitation to public criticism and controversy. Fourth, at the end of the day, it may also lead to powerful groups (and political families or dynasties) using their political (and possibly financial) clout to ensure accreditation.

For example, the Courage sectoral organization was disqualified on the basis of its being an organization of government employees even as ACT Teachers and the Association of Volunteer Teachers (AVE) whose members also have public school teachers were accredited.

It disqualified Ako Bicol and Alliance for Rural Concerns (ARC) partly because they were geographic entities but it allowed An Waray, an association of Samareños. And so on and so forth.

The lack of a set of criteria announced beforehand led to this situation. A contributory factor was the ill-advised lobby of some groups who acted as election watchdogs and introduced false criteria or misinterpreted the criteria for participation in the party-list system.

The attempt, for example, to apply the term "marginalized and underrepresented" to party-list groups rather than the sectors cited in the law is a mistake.

Likewise, the argument that a successful political party such as Akbayan may not anymore be qualified to run because it is part of the ruling coalition is a fallacy.

This stems from an interpretation that the party-list system is a "reserved seats" system for "marginalized and underrepresented groups."

The constitution (and the discussions of constitutional commissioners) has made clear and affirmed that it is a system for proportional representation.

The party-list system only opened the doors to the House of Representatives for representatives of marginalized and underrepresented sectors, and not to exclusively reserve it for them.

The Comelec, for its good intentions, got confused again.

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • Indonesia orders execution of Mary Jane, 9 others
    Indonesia orders execution of Mary Jane, 9 others

    Indonesia has ordered preparations for the execution of 10 drug convicts, including Filipina Mary Jane Veloso, as the Philippine government filed yesterday a second appeal for judicial review of the case to save the maid from death by firing squad. The Attorney General’s Office (AGO) of Indonesia released an official letter dated April 23, instructing prosecutors to prepare for the execution of 10 convicts, the Jakarta Post reported yesterday. The execution would be conducted after the …

  • Happiest nations: Phl ranks 90th
    Happiest nations: Phl ranks 90th

    Switzerland is the happiest country in the world, while the Philippines placed 90th, according to a global ranking of happiness unveiled in New York on Thursday. Switzerland was followed closely by Iceland, Denmark, Norway and Canada. The 2015 World Happiness Report is the third annual report seeking to quantify happiness as a means of influencing government policy. The United Nations published the first study in 2012. …

  • Asean leaders want binding sea code with China
    Asean leaders want binding sea code with China

    Southeast Asian leaders will seek to speed up plans for a binding code of conduct with China governing behavior in the disputed South China Sea at a summit next week, Malaysia’s foreign minister said Friday. Foreign Minister Anifah Aman said a massive flow of Muslim Rohingya refugees from Myanmar to neighboring countries will also be discussed at the two-day summit of the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations, which starts Monday. Anifah said leaders are expected to raise concerns …

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