Party-list re-accreditation questioned

Posted on October 20, 2012

TACLOBAN CITY -- An Waray party-list Rep. Florencio Gabriel G. Noel questioned the re-accreditation of incumbent and two-term party-list groups, but stressed he fully supports the campaign against bogus party-list groups.

He also said that while it is his obligation, as head of the party-list bloc in Congress, to defend other groups, he would respect the decision of the Commission on Elections (Comelec).

"I already told the Speaker [Feliciano R. Belmonte, Jr.] about our concern and he advised us to remain vigilant and assert our legitimacy as a party-list organization," Mr. Noel said.

He expressed support for Comelec’s campaign to cleanse the party-list system, but said "the poll body should be extra cautious in doing so."

He noted that An Waray and other incumbent party-list groups had gone through a tedious approval process by the Comelec en banc.

"An Waray had the benefit of the approval from the Comelec en banc, while most of the new applicants passed only in the division level," Mr. Noel said.

About 15 party-list groups have already been disqualified by the Comelec from taking part in next year’s elections in line with the implementation of reforms in the electoral system.

"Of course I am nervous of what will happen to An Waray. It is only Comelec that will declare our legitimacy. But I am confident we will not be disqualified," Mr. Noel said.

An Waray is also represented in the chamber by Rep. Neil Benedict A. Montejo. -- Reyan L. Arinto