Joma on scrapping party-lists: Let Duterte propose better system
IT seemed Communist Party of the Philippines founder Jose Maria “Joma” Sison was torn by the pronouncement of President Duterte to abolish the party-list system in the country.
Sison said party-list groups serves as an “opening” for the voice of marginalized sectors of society to be heard in Congress.
“As a concession to the supposedly marginalized, there are parties that stand for workers and peasants who don’t have much say really within the system, so the party list is supposed to be an opening,” Sison said in an INQ&A interview.
“But you look at the Congress now, there are so few of them and I don’t know how much better would be that Congress of political agents if you remove the few progressives. And if you remove the party list progressives you may not hear anymore any patriotic or progressive voices,” he added.
Duterte earlier said he wanted the party-list system stricken out of the new Constitution to be drafted by a constituent assembly that will pave the way to a federal form of government.
The President also claimed that some militant party-list groups are channeling their funds to the New People’s Army, CPP’s armed wing.
While acknowledging that party-list systems “have been taken over by dynasties,” Sison said the Duterte administration should come up with a better alternative if it will push through with its plan to junk the party-list system.
“We have to see what better system the Duterte government is trying to offer by doing away with the party-list,” he said.
“But anyway, I’ve heard this argument: The party list system is now being taken over by the dynasties. That’s also a valid argument. As a matter of act there has been concern on the part of progressive party lists that dynasties might wipe them out,” Sison added.
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