Group planning to oust gov’t may be barred from party-list system — Sotto
MANILA, Philippines — A group planning to overthrow the government may be prohibited from the party-list system, Senate Vicente “Tito” Sotto III said Wednesday.
Sotto himself is planing to file at the Senate on Monday a measure amending the party-list system without the need to tinker with the Constitution.
Sotto said his measure would clearly define the marginalized sectors that must be qualified in the party-list system such as the urban poor, women, youth, indigenous people, and labor.
When asked, however, about President Rodrigo Duterte’s accusation that some party-list groups are acting as legal fronts of the communists, the Senate leader gave assurance that his measure would not mention the Makabayan bloc.
“This is not yet written in stone, I’ve not submitted it, but this is the formula that we’re drafting. There’s no mention of any Makabayan bloc or any communist or any sector,” Sotto said at the Kapihan sa Manila Bay forum.
“It will be the marginalized sectors that will be again mentioned and qualified, para maliwanag sino yung mga yun at sino ang pwdeng mag-represent sa kanila. Lilinawan natin yun…”
To address the President’s concern about party-list groups allegedly being used by the communists, he said they can come up with a provision saying “that if you are working for the overthrow of government, you can’t be qualified.”
Sotto further conceded that party-list groups, just as other legislators, are being paid with public funds.
“Precisely. So if your group is working for the overthrow of government, you are not qualified, you can’t be a marginalized sector,” he said.
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