Comelec’s disqualification of Kalikasan Party-list denies vulnerable, marginalized communities representation

KALIKASAN Party-list said they “will challenge the Commission on Elections (Comelec) decision in the Supreme Court and assert our accreditation and recognition to participate in the party-list system as guaranteed by RA 7941.

The group issued thestatement after the Comelec announced the disqualification of some 16 party-lists from participating in the 2013 national elections, including Kalikasan Party-list.

“We do not agree with the Comelec’s decision to deny us accreditation,” the group said.

“We previously lauded the Comelec’s move to purge the existing list of bogus party-lists being backed by the government and the wealthy elite, which should have long been disqualified from the electoral arena. However, the Comelec should have been more discerning in its drive to disqualify bogus partylists, becoming an unwitting tool for denying genuine people’s representation in Congress,” the group said in a statement.

“We question the Comelec’s basis for denying us the accreditation. Kalikasan party-list has been clear from the start that we represent not the environment itself but the marginalized sectors who have been gravely affected, for so many decades, by disasters brought about by the destruction of the environment. These include communities comprised of sectors such as the urban and rural poor, women, professionals, youth and students,” the group said.

Kalikasan Party-list is a pro-people, pro-Filipino and pro-environment multi-sectoral party composed of individuals from the marginalized and underrepresented communities and sectors. We recognize that environmental problems affect the poorest of the poor in the Philippines and are also rooted in the control of natural resources by the country’s wealthy elite.

The environmental movement which Kalikasan party-list originated from has a track record of almost 15 years of promoting, advocating and struggling for the interests of the marginalized, underrepresented and vulnerable sectors in Philippine society.

“We have spearheaded many major environmental campaigns and actions around the nation, especially involving poor and marginalized communities affected by climate change and other environmental problems,” the group said.

The group vowed that with or without accreditation, “we will continue to serve the marginalized and underrepresented sectors that are bearing the full impacts of environmental destruction and degradation.”

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