Make the party-list system work for real marginalized sectors – solon

ANAKPAWIS Rep. Rafael Mariano said traditional politicians (trapos) and political dynasties’ abuse of the party-list system for their own political interests has corrupted and made a mockery of the party-list system.

“We encourage Comelec further its actions in eliminating bogus party-lists,” the solon said in reaction to Comelec’s disqualification of 17 party-lists.

“Landlords cannot represent farmers, business owners cannot represent workers, veteran politicians cannot simply proclaim themselves as representatives of marginalized sectors. Conflict of interests will always go in the way of public service.”

“The party-list system was created to allow representation of marginalized sectors in the House of Representatives, still dominated by big landowners, businessmen and politicians from political families. Over the years, trapos who want to remain in power or those who were eased out from local politics in provinces, have used and abused the party-list system to advance their political interests.”

Mariano said “trapos from known political dynasties took advantage of the party-list system as a ‘back-door’ entry to Congress. One classic example is Ang Galing Partylist (AGP) of Rep. Mickey Arroyo that pretends to represent security guards.”

“In the past, Comelec allowed the proliferation of bogus party-lists. Through the strong campaign and lobbying of anti-fraud election watch dogs like Kontra-Daya, Comelec is now straightening out its previous errors through strict review of eligibility of party-list organizations seeking accreditation.”

“Comelec must make sharp distinction between bogus and legitimate party-list groups. Eliminate the fakes and allow legitimate party-list organizations. Sectors including Overseas Filipino Workers, government employees and indigenous peoples are in need of genuine representation in Congress,” said Mariano.

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