Group files motion for reconsideration in continuing fight for the marginalized

A system flawed denies a genuine partylist of serving the misrepresented and underrepresented, and so all the more should Aking Bikolnon be militant and adept in the intricacies of the law in order to refute rulings prejudicial to the interests of the poor and the marginalized.”

Aking Bikolnon president Atty. Edgar N. Carmona has this to say as regards the partylist’s Motion for Reconsideration (MR) seasonably filed with the Commission on Elections on December 10. The MR comes in the light of Comelec First Division’s denial of Aking Bikolnon’s accreditation to participate in the May 2013 elections.

In a 37-page Motion, Carmona together with AKI lawyers Attys. Gay Escio and Bart Rayco contested in detail points argued by the Comelec as bases for disqualification. AKI lawyers negated Comelec’s grounds namely: 1) that Aking Bikolnon does not represent the marginalized and underrepresented sectors, organizations and parties; 2) that AKI could not contribute to the formulation and enactment of appropriate legislation that will benefit the nation as a whole; 3) that Aking Bikolnon has a well-defined constituency and thus is not qualified in the party-list system; and 4) that Aking Bikolnon has no constituency in the majority of the provinces and cities in the Bicol Region.

“The finding on the first ground of disqualification is baseless as Aking Bikolnon has sufficiently demonstrated in the Petition, Memorandum and Documents submitted therewith, that it seeks to represent the marginalized and underrepresented sectors,” challenges Atty Escio. “AKI also has enumerated the marginalized Bicolnon sectors that it seeks to represent in Congress under the party-list system, and has endeavored to prove through documentary and testimonial evidence that it represents the marginalized, and unquestionably exhibited by evidence its intent of uplifting the condition of the marginalized and underrepresented,” she added.

On the issue of Comelec’s doubts with regards to AKI’s enactment capacity, the party-list’s lawyer reiterated that AKI has clearly showed its intent of uplifting the condition of the marginalized and underrepresented through legislation, and has enumerated sample legislative measures, agenda, and programs that will benefit not only the marginalized sectors of Bicol but also the whole nation.

Furthermore, Escio also presents that in answering Comelec’s claim that Aking Bikolnon has a well-defined constituency, Aking Bikolnon does not seek to represent the Bicol Region in its entirety but the marginalized and underrepresented sectors residing therein and outside the region, and that the party-list merely seeks to represent the marginalized and underrepresented sectors in and outside Bicol. “What Aking Bikolnon has, on the other hand, is constituency in the majority of the provinces and cities of the Bicol Region,” she clarifies.

“Everything was in the original petition. It seems that they weren’t listening the first time that we had to repeat our standpoint, rendering this exercise redundant,” added Carmona.

Meanwhile, supplementary to the Motion for Reconsideration, Carmona’s group likewise presented to the Comelec signed petition statement opposing the commission’s unjust disqualification of Aking Bikolnon and attesting to the genuineness of AKI as a party-list of marginalized Bicolanos. The petition was signed by more than 7,300 AKI officers and members generated within two days from a majority of the cities and provinces of Bicol.

“As if the MR wasn’t enough, we have added evidence to prove that AKI is truly qualified of accreditation, having met, among others, the requirement of constituency, all of which come from the marginalized and underrepresented sectors”, Carmona says in referral to the signed petition.

The Comelec Enbanc is also requested to resolve the Motion for Reconsideration favorably in time to enable Aking Bikolnon to participate in May 2013 elections. “We are confident that the clear minds of the commission will facilitate the constitutional provisions of the party-list system to the hands of the underprivileged, and in the end be able to differentiate between the bogus party-lists and those sincerely working to uplift the conditions of the poor and the marginalized,”  Carmona said.

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