Fewer party-list groups in ’13

Posted on November 26, 2012

FEWER PARTY-LIST groups may obtain accreditation to participate in the upcoming midterm elections, a Commission on Elections (Comelec) official said, as the poll body finalizes the roster this week.

"By election day [May 13, 2013], 100 to 150 party-list organizations, even less, will be able to participate," said Comelec Director and spokesman James Arthur B. Jimenez in a phone interview yesterday.

The expected number is lower than the 184 groups that participated in the 2010 national elections.

Comelec Chairman Sixto S. Brillantes, Jr. said the poll body will finalize the list of qualified party-lists by Nov. 30 to prepare for the printing of ballots in January.

So far, the Comelec had rejected the bids of 92 party-list groups.

The following, meanwhile, are deemed qualified for the party-list polls: Bayan Muna, Akbayan, Ang NARS, Inc., Piston Land Transport Pilipino with Disabilities (PISTON), Aagapay sa Matatanda, Inc. (AMA), and Ating Agapay Sentrong Samahan ng mga Obrero, Inc. (AASENSO).

Last Friday, the Comelec had disqualified 12 additional party-list groups -- including those that claim to represent maids and financially challenged teachers -- for failing to prove they can represent the marginalized.

Since October this year, the poll body has been cleansing the party-list system of groups that are qualified to represent any marginalized or underrepresented sector under Republic Act No. 7941 or the Party-list System Act.

The Supreme Court, has however, issued stay orders on Comelec ruling against some groups. -- R. J. N. Dy