Ocampo confident Bayan Muna would pass scrutiny on party-listsBy Fat Reyes
MANILA, Philippines – Bayan Muna president Satur Ocampo on Monday said that he was confident that Bayan Muna partylist would pass the review made by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) on party-list groups in the country.
“We are satisfied with the explanation [that the Comelec will scrutinize the] track record [of party-lists]. And as far as we’re concerned, very [are very] confident,” Ocampo said in an interview with reporters after he and other representatives of militant groups held a dialogue with Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr.
Members of militant groups held rallies in front of the poll body’s main office in Intramuros Monday morning to decry what they described as moves by the poll body to disqualify multisectoral parties, particularly Bayan Muna and Anakpawis.
Bayan Muna representative Neri Colmenares and Bayan Muna president Satur Ocampo went to the poll body’s office and held a dialogue with Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes to seek clarification of the said moves.
Both Ocampo and Colmenares clarified that they were in support of the Comelec’s efforts to cleanse the party-list system of fake partly-list groups formed by multi-millionaires and political dynasties.
“But we take exception to the idea to disqualify ‘multi-sectoral’ party even if that party has been proven to be truly representing marginalized sectors,” said Ocampo.
Ocampo said that during the meeting, they were told that a party’s failure to represent a specific sector was only one basis for disqualification.
The groups expressed their fears after Ako Bicol party-list lost its accreditation to run in next year’s polls because of its failure to represent a specific sector.
Brillantes, in a separate interview with reporters, said that Bayan Muna was part of the 115-party lists groups being reviewed by the poll body.
“They are part of the incumbents in the 115 party-list groups under review. So ang sabi ko, it is still under study,” he said.
On Monday, Brillantes announced that two more party-list groups, Association of Philippine Electric Cooperatives (Apec) and the 1st Consumers Alliance for Rural Energy (1-Care), were disqualified to run in next year’s polls.