Groups urge Comelec to slam SC ruling

April 8, 2013 10:28 pm 

MANILA, April 8 — Marginalized groups on Monday slammed the recent Supreme Court ruling allowing non-marginalized groups and nominees to join the party-list system and said the decision "opens the floodgates for abuse of the party-list law."

Gabriela Representative Luzviminda Ilagan said the ruling goes against the essence of the Party-List Law (Republic Act 7941).

"The ruling opens the floodgates for the abuse and mockery of the party-list law," she said.

Under RA 7941, 20 percent of the members of the House of Representatives should come from the marginalized and underrepresented sectors of the society.

Aside from Gabriela, groups Anakpawis, Aking Bikolnon, Bayan Muna, Kabataan, Piston, Akap Bata, Kalikasan, Courage, ACT Teachers, Migrante and Katribu urged the Commission on Elections to ask the High Court to revise its decision.

Bayan Muna Representative Neri Colmenares said the Comelec should continue its fight against bogus party-list groups.

Last year, the poll body disqualified more than fifty groups that do not represent the marginalized sectors from joining the May polls.

“Tinatawagan namin ang Comelec na manindigan at panindigan ang desisyon na ginawa noon sa disqualification [We urge the Comelec to oppose the ruling and make good on its promise to disqualify bogus party-list groups] ,” he said.

Comelec chairman Sixto Brillantes, Jr urged the Congress to reexamine the partylist law to make it "more responsive to the needs of the marginalized, not of politicians."

"Despite my personal reservations, this is a good opportunity to reopen the discussion regarding the direction of our party-list system. Nonetheless Comelec will comply with the decision and conduct the evidentiary hearing ASAP to determine compliance with the new guidelines," he said.

Groups disqualified by the Comelec went to the High Court. Thirteen of them were given status quo ante orders but without mandatory injunction and 41 with mandatory injunctions.

The SC remanded the case of the party-list groups to the poll body and issued new parameters in the qualification of parties.(PNA)

DSP/JMC/UTB

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