Hodgepodge party-list

  • US billionaire says WWII Japanese ship found in Philippines

    US billionaire says WWII Japanese ship found in Philippines

    AFP News
    US billionaire says WWII Japanese ship found in Philippines

    Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen said Wednesday he had found one of Japan's biggest and most famous battleships on a Philippine seabed, some 70 years after American forces sank it during World War II. Excited historians likened the discovery, if verified, to finding the Titanic, as they hailed the American billionaire for his high-tech mission that apparently succeeded after so many failed search attempts by others. Allen posted photos and video online of parts of what he said was the …

  • Philippines' Aquino promises police commandos extra resources after …

    Philippines' Aquino promises police commandos extra resources after …

    Reuters
    Philippines' Aquino promises police commandos extra resources after …

    Philippine President Benigno Aquino promised police commandos better extra resources on Wednesday, weeks after 44 commandos were killed in a clash with Muslim rebels, but declined to answer questions about the botched raid, a senior officer said. On Jan. 25, police commandos sneaked into a southern rebel area to "neutralise" Zulkifli bin Hir, alias Marwan, an al Qaeda-linked bomb maker with a $5 million U.S. bounty on his head. The mission went disastrously wrong for the government when …

  • Image of Asia: Fire burns more than 1,000 homes in Manila

    Image of Asia: Fire burns more than 1,000 homes in Manila

    Associated Press
    Image of Asia: Fire burns more than 1,000 homes in Manila

    In this photo by Bullit Marquez, a boy sits on pavement while his family retrieves items from their burned home Tuesday following an overnight fire that destroyed a slum-dwellers community in Manila, Philippines. No casualties were reported in the 9-hour fire that burned more than a thousand homes and left at least 3,000 families homeless. The Bureau of Fire and Protection was still investigating the cause of the fire. But in Manila's poorest neighborhoods, fires often are caused by poor wiring …

  • Ukraine military says one soldier killed in past 24 hours in east

    Ukraine military says one soldier killed in past 24 hours in east

    Reuters
    Ukraine military says one soldier killed in past 24 hours in east

    One Ukrainian serviceman was killed and another wounded in fighting with pro-Russian separatists in east Ukraine, military spokesman Vladislav Seleznyov said on Thursday, as Kiev accused rebels of repeated violations of a ceasefire deal. Interior Ministry adviser Zoryan Shkiryak said the rebels were not only not observing the peace agreement, but were in fact building up forces in the southern Donetsk province, near the Ukrainian-held port city of Mariupol. Another military spokesman said …

  • BRIEF-SAIC Motor sold 1.01 mln vehicles in Jan-Feb, down 0.9 pct

    Reuters

    March 5 (Reuters) - SAIC Motor Corp Ltd * Says sold 1,013,268 vehicles in Jan-Feb, down 0.9 percenty/y Source text in Chinese: http://bit.ly/1DXZc1U Further company coverage: (Reporting by Hong Kong and Singapore newsrooms) …

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.

POLL
Loading...
Poll Choice Options