Apr 302013
At least 29 party-list organizations earlier disqualified by the Commission on Elections for not representing marginalized sectors might be allowed to participate in the May 13 polls while 10 others will be cancelled, poll chairman Sixto Brillantes said Tuesday.

Brillantes said since the commissioners have different positions on the matter, the en banc will put the matter to a vote by Thursday. He said they are still reviewing the case of the concerned party-list groups.

“Iba-iba kami ng posisyon. Magvovoting kami sa Thursday. We are deciding already to allow approximately 29 to 30 and cancel the remaining 9 to 10. Hindi pa kami naga-agree,” he told reporters.

The names of the party-list groups are included in the ballot.

The Supreme Court earlier this month remanded to the Comelec the case of the party-list organizations the latter disqualified and ordered it to conduct “evidentiary hearings.”

The High Tribunal adopted new parameters in the qualification of national, regional and sectoral parties under the party-list system which the Comelec used in determining which party-list organizations will be allowed or not.

These are the parameters set by the SC:

– Three different groups may participate in the party-list system: (1)  national parties or organizations, (2) regional parties or organizations, and (3) sectoral parties or organizations.

– National parties or organizations and regional parties or organizations do not need to organize along sectoral lines and do not need to represent “any marginalized and underrepresented” sector.

– Political parties can participate in party-list elections provided they register under the party-list system and do not field candidate in legislative district elections. A polictical party, whether major or not, that fields candidates in legislative district election can participate in party-list electons only through its sectoral wing that can separately register under the party-list system. The sectoral wing is by itself an indepedent party, and is linked to a political party through a coaltion.

– Sectoral parties or organizations may either be “marginalized and underrepresented” or lacking in “well-defined political constitutencies.” It is enough that their principal advocacy pertains to the special interest and concersn of the sector. The sectors that are marginalized and underrepresented” include labor, peasant, fisherfolk, urban poor, indigenous cultural communities, handicapped, veterans and overseas workers. The sectors that lack well-defined political constitutencies include professionals, the elderly, women and the youth.

– A majority of the members of sectoral parties or organization that represent the “marginalized and underrepresented” must belong to the marginalized and underrepresented sector that they represent. Similarly, a majority of the members of sectoral parties or organization that lack “well-defined political constituencies” must belong to the sector that they represent. The nominees of either sector must either belong to their respective sectors, or must have a track record of advocacy.

– National, regional and sectoral parties or organizations shall not be disqualified if some of their nominees are disqualified, provided that they have at least five other nominees who remain qualified. — BM, GMA News

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