MANILA, Philippines – The Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Wednesday announced that it had barred 37 more partylist groups from running in next year’s mid-term elections.
Comelec chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr., in a press conference, said that among those disqualified were two existing partylists: Butil and Binhi.
Butil partylist, a group which seeks to provide “political empowerment” to farmers, is represented in the 15th Congress by Rep. Agapito Guanlao.
He said that the votes on the two existing partylists were not unanimous but did not elaborate on why they were cancelled.
Brillantes also said that the following new applicants had been denied their requests for accreditation:
1 Ang Batas (1 Ang Bagong Alyansang Tagapagtaguyod ng Adhikaing Sambayanan)
1-AID DALAW INC. (1-Alliance of Inmates Detainees and Dalaw)
1-AIMCOOP (Aurora Integrated Multi-Purpose Cooperative)
1-AKONG MINIMUM WAGER (1-Akong Minimum Wage Earner)
1-APTO (1 – Alliance Of Public Transport Organization)
1-KOOP Mindanao (USA KA KAHUGPUNGAN SA MGA KOOPERATIBA ALANGSA KALINAW
UG KALAMBUAN SA MINDANAO)
1PAGASA (The Philippine Association of GSIS, AFPSLAI, SSS and Allied
1TEACH (1 Team For Education Advancement and Change Inc.)
4M (Magdiwang Maharlikang Mamamayan Movement)
4P’s (Pahiyom Pobreng Pamilyang Pinoy, Inc)
AAA (AAA-Aviation Advancement Advocates Inc.)
AAD (Ang Ating Damayan Citizens Alliance)
ABI (Apila Ng Bayan Inc)
ABP (Aktibong Bayang Pilipino Inc.)
ACES (Alliance of Concerned Entrepreneurs for Food Security, Inc.)
ACTS-OFW (Acts-Overseas Filipino Workers Coalition of Organizations)
Ako Bisaya Political Party
AKOPA (Ako ang Pasahero, Inc.)
ANFBI (Active National Federation of Bantay Bayan Inc.)
APELA (Advocates for Penology Enhancement and Legal Assistance Inc.)
ARBA Inc. (Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Association, Inc.)
ASD (Adult School Drop-Out)
ATTOM (Alyansang mga Tsuper at Transport Operators ng Mindanao, Inc.,)
BRAVO (Bravo For Justice, Inc.)
BRP-SSS (Social Security System Beneficiaries, Retirees, Pensioners
HAPPI (Hanapbuhay Para Sa Pinoy, Inc.)
MAR (Mindanao Alliance For Reforms)
MELCHORA (Movement of Women for Change and Reform)
NOYPI (Ang Bagong Noypi Movement, Inc.)
PM Coalition (Partidong Manggagawa Coalition)
PPP (Pilipinas Para Sa Pinoy)
SPA (Samahan ng mga Personero sa Aduana Inc)
WACCAA (Worldwide Anti-Crime and Child Abuse Assistance Group, Inc.)
He said that the new applicants were denied accreditation in the division levels and the decisions were affirmed by the en banc.
Meanwhile, when pressed by reporters about the decision on the group Ang Mata’y Alagaan (AMA), Brillantes said the group was likely to be allowed to participate in the partylist race.
“Palagay ko granted pero hindi rin unanimous….. tapos na voting namin doon (I think it was granted but no unanimous…the voting is over),” Brillantes said.
Election watchdog Kontra Daya had opposed the inclusion of the group Ang Mata’y Alagaan in the list of groups to be allowed by the Comelec to run in the party-list elections next year. Kontra Daya, in earlier reports, claimed that that some groups violated the Comelec rules when they submitted names of “questionable” individuals as their nominees.
Also, the group claimed that most of the names submitted as nominees do not “represent the interest of the marginalized and underrepresented” due to their political and business backgrounds.
Leading nominees of the group include the wife and two children of Supreme Court Justice Presbitero Velasco.
Brillantes said that Ang Mata’y Alagaan originally had three members of Velasco’s family as nominees but that two of them withdrew. He however declined to disclose names.
The Comelec has been undergoing a re-evaluation of old and new partylist groups as part of their efforts to cleanse the party-list system, which has been criticized as being dominated by bogus organizations or by groups whose nominees were either multimillionaires, former government officials or members of powerful political clans.
“This is the first time that we are taking out existing partylists…and this is also the first time that we are disallowing the participation of so many new applicants,” Brillantes said when asked to describe the party-list purge.
Brillantes said that they would also be releasing a final list of all the partylists that will be allowed to run in the partylist race Thursday. He had earlier noted that a maximum of 100 partylist groups would be allowed to join the midterm elections next year.