Comelec disqualifies party-list Aangat TayoBy Fat Reyes
MANILA, Philippines—The Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Friday announced it has disqualified Aangat Tayo party-list from running in next year’s elections.
Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr, in a press conference, noted that Aangat Tayo has one incumbent congresswoman, Daryl Grace Abayon, who is the wife of former Northern Samar congressman Harlin Abayon.
When pressed about the reasons why the party-list was disqualified, Brillantes said that it represented conflicting sectors. He said that the poll body found out that the party-list represented the elderly, youth, and urban poor.
“While you can represent multi-sectors, they have to be related, not conflicting,” Brillantes said.”
“How can you represent the elderly and youth at the same time?” Brillantes added.
He added that the decision noted that five of Aangat Tayo’s nominees did not belong to the youth and elderly. He said that Aangat Tayo was one of 20 partylists disqualified based on a unanimous vote.
The poll body earlier announced that it had disqualified Ako-Bicol, Association of Philippine Electric Cooperatives (Apec), the 1st Consumers Alliance for Rural Energy (1-Care), and 12 other partylists.
The Comelec has been undergoing a re-evaluation of old and new party-list groups as part of its efforts to cleanse the party-list system, which has been criticized as being dominated by bogus groups whose nominees are either multimillionaires, former government officials or members of powerful political clans.
Under Republic Act No. 7941 or the Party-list System Act, only 12 marginalized and underrepresented sectors of society can seek congressional representation.
These are the labor, peasant, fisherfolk, urban poor, indigenous cultural communities, elderly, handicapped, women, youth, veterans, overseas workers and professionals sectors.
Brillantes, in the interview, also announced that he had a talk with Speaker Feliciano Belmonte and that they had an agreement that from now on, there will be no more announcements on disqualified party-lists from the poll body unless it had already come up with the appropriate resolutions.
Belmonte, in earlier reports, had noted that while he agreed with the Comelec’s method of partial announcement of disqualified groups, he did not agree with the Comelec’s disclosure of the estimated number of groups that would be facing disqualification.
Brillantes had earlier said that about 100 party-lists could be barred from running in next year’s polls.
He noted in the press conference that representatives had expressed fears because of the announcements.
He added that it was important for them to come up with the resolutions so that the axed party-lists could easily get hold of the documents and run to the Supreme Court.