Guanzon wants party-list nominees to submit SALNs
MANILA, Philippines— After disclosing that rich people are financing the elections of party-list groups, an election official now wants to require party-list nominees to submit their statements of assets, liabilities, net worth (SALNs).
“May I be candid here—that it takes money to win in party-list elections and it has become a business,” Elections Commissioner Ma. Rowena Guanzon lamented at a Senate hearing on Tuesday.
“And many of them are my friends but I will say it to them even in their face that this has become a business–that rich people are financing the registration and election of party-list groups.”
“So it has bastardized the intent of the Constitution so why is it that Congress cannot amend the law? I think Congress has the power to amend the law,” she added.
Guanzon called it “absurd” that a millionaire is representing an urban poor group.
She then proposed that the Commission on Elections should start requiring pary-list nominees to submit their SALNs.
“In their certificate of nomination, I will propose to the committee en banc that the nominees will also submit their SALN,” the commissioner said.
“Even those that are already registered political parties , we can require them your honor because that’s an administrative rule, which we have the power to do under the Constitution,” Guanzon added.
While she agreed that the SALN submission may be required from nominees, Senator Imee Marcos said some party-list groups could still get away with it by asserting that they are marginalized or underrepresented sector.
“Di ba makakalusot pa rin kasi sectoral naman daw, ideological naman daw. Hindi naman kinakailangan mahihirap silang lahat, pwede namang maging bilyonaryo . Yun ang problema kasi alam na natin yung argumento e,” said Marcos, who presided over the hearing as chair of the Senate committee on electoral reforms.
(They can still get away with it. They’d say they are sectoral, somehow ideological, that they don’t have to be poor, they can be a billionaire. That’s the problem because we already know their argument.)
Before this, Guanzon also claimed that some party-list groups are allegedly selling their seats.
“I’m personally against the gaming of the party-list rules because, I’m sorry to say, that in truth, a lot of party-list or some of them, sell their seats,” she said.
“After they win, they change their representatives or nominees,” she further said. /jpv
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.