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Some winning nominees say party-list law needs review

/ 09:38 PM May 22, 2019

MANILA, Philippines — Some party-list group representatives agreed on Wednesday that the current party-list system needed to be reviewed.

Rep. Eddie Villanueva of the Citizens’ Battle Against Corruption (Cibac) party-list group said the law should prohibit those in “political power” to use party-lists.

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“If the party-list system is being used by those who have political power, economic power and all kinds of powers in the society, the law should prohibit such,” Villanueva, speaking partly in Filipino, told reporters in an interview at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) in Pasay City.

Villanueva, an evangelist who is the founding president to the Jesus Is Lord Church Worldwide, pointed out the party-list groups should be used to advance “noble advocacies” and it must prove their “competence” and “integrity.”

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“Ang party-system must only be allowed to genuine people who have genuine concerns in advancing their noble advocacies like against corruption, against poverty,” he said.

“And they should have proven track record of competence and integrity rather than using the power of money. They’re supposed to be from the marginalized sector. But if they’re multibillionaires, that’s contrary, right?” he added, speaking partly in Filipino. “I believe Congress must have proper definitions of the right party-list.”

Cibac obtained two seats at the House of Representatives in the 2019 elections.

Meanwhile, Rep. Lito Atienza of the Buhay party-list group agreed that the existing party-list law should be amended. His party-list got only one seat at the House.

“So many things need to be reformed in the party-list law,” Atienza, speaking partly in Filipino, said in a separate interview. “The groups should have their advocacies. And those groups should meet and pick their nominees in such a way that they will give meaning to the aims of the Constitution.”

He noted that party-lists should only be for the marginalized sectors, as provided in the Constitution.

“The party-list provision in the Constitution provides that opportunity for the marginalized sectors, economically and politically,” he added. “Those who lack something economically and politically are the ones who should be in the party-list. We can’t just let anyone into the party-list.”

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Rep. Mikee Romero of the One Patriotic Coalition of Marginalized Nationals (1-Pacman) party-list group, also agreed that the party-list law should be reviewed and amended.

“No problem,” Romero told reporters in a separate interview when asked if he would support amending the current party-list law.

He added that the party-list system had already “evolved” to become a “sectoral” representation body.

“They’re no longer marginalized. So it’s sectoral, meaning it could have a medical group, an educational group, a singers’ group,” Romero said, speaking partly in Filipino.

The 1-Pacman obtained two seats at the House.

Earlier, Sen. Panfilo Lacson said the party-list system should be reviewed as the system had already become a “joke.”

He made this remark after former National Youth Commission Chairman Ronald Cardema applied to be a substitute nominee for the Duterte Youth party-list because his wife — Ducielle Marie, the first nominee — and four others backed out.

A total of 51 party-list groups obtained at least one seat in the House of Representatives in the midterm elections.

READ: Lacson says party-list system a joke, hits Cardema, Duterte Youth

(Editor: Alexander T. Magno)

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TAGS: 2019 elections, 2019 party-list nominees, Buhay partylist Rep. Lito Atienza, Ed Villanueva, Lito Atienza, party-groups, Party-List Law
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