At least 165 party list groups vie for 63 House seats
MANILA, Philippines — At least 165 party list groups will vie for a potential 63 seats in the House of Representatives in the May 9, 2022 polls, according to the Commission on Elections (Comelec).
Thirteen more party list groups are waiting for the poll body to act on their motions for reconsideration after their registrations were denied while the appeals of 107 others have been denied with finality.
Among those participating in next year’s elections are Gabriela Women’s Party, Coalition of Associations of Senior Citizens in the Philippines Inc., Magdalo para sa Pilipino Partylist, ACT Teachers Partylist, Ang Bumbero ng Pilipinas, BTS (Bayaning Tsuper), Noble Advancement of the Marvelous People of the Philippines Inc., Ang Komadrona, Anakpawis Partylist and Bayan Muna.
In its Dec. 1 resolution, the Comelec announced the names of the 165 approved party list groups and the 13 others with pending appeals that may participate in the Dec. 10 raffle to determine their order of listing in the ballot.
But it clarified that the inclusion of the 13 groups was no guarantee that they would be allowed to join the 2022 elections.
“Participation in the raffle is without prejudice to the resolution of the pending incidents and the exclusion on the official ballot, if applicable,” the poll body said.
The results will determine a party list group’s number or placement in the ballot since the Comelec has done away with an alphabetical listing.
For the first time ever, the raffle will be conducted virtually so representatives of accredited party list groups and other authorized attendees can only watch through a video link.
“The Commission deems it proper to introduce the use of online platforms and mechanisms in conducting the raffle to ensure the safety of all concerned against the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic,” it said in a resolution dated Nov. 24.
Participants can attend the 10 a.m. electronic raffle to be held at the poll body’s headquarters in Intramuros, Manila, via the app Microsoft Teams (MS Teams).
Party list groups, the citizen’s arm group, media outfits, and other election stakeholders will be allowed only one representative each in the MS Teams videoconference.
“Only authorized representatives shall be permitted in the MS Teams videoconference. No representative shall be admitted at the physical venue,” the Comelec said.
Party list groups that fail to submit the name of their representative and send just anyone during the raffle “shall be considered to have waived their right to participate and observe the proceedings.”
Backed by pols, biz groups
In the 2019 elections, the Comelec accredited 134 party list groups. Under the current 18th Congress, there are 63 party list representatives from 51 groups in the Lower House, most of them backed by politicians and business groups.
Of the 51 party list groups, 29 have representatives who are either former politicians, allies of the Duterte administration, or scions of political or rich families.
The ACT-CIS party list group, which got the maximum three seats for being a frontrunner in the 2019 elections, is represented by Jocelyn Tulfo, wife of broadcaster and senatorial aspirant Raffy Tulfo, and sister-in-law of former Special Envoy to China Ramon Tulfo. The Tulfo brothers are staunch supporters of President Duterte.
On the other hand, Probinsyano Ako won two seats that went to its nominees, Rudy Caesar Fariñas, son of former House majority leader Rodolfo Fariñas, and Jose “Bonito” Singson, brother of Narvacan, Ilocos Sur Mayor Luis “Chavit” Singson.
The 1Pacman party list group is represented by Rep. Michael Romero, one of the House’s richest lawmakers with a reported net worth of P7 billion, as well as Enrico Pineda, the former business manager of Sen. Manny Pacquiao.
Pacquiao’s brother, Bobby, a neophyte politician, heads the OFW Family party list group while Diwa is represented by Michael Aglipay, brother of Emmeline Aglipay Villar, a justice undersecretary, and wife of former Public Works Secretary Mark Villar.
Anakalusugan, meanwhile, is represented by Michael Defensor, who failed in his senatorial and mayoral bid in 2007 and 2010, respectively. He was a Cabinet member during the Arroyo administration.
Puwersa ng Bayaning Atleta or PBA has Jericho Nograles, brother of acting presidential spokesperson Karlo Nograles while Tingog Sinirangan is led by Yedda Romualdez, a former Leyte representative whose husband, Rep. Martin Romualdez, ran for and took over her seat in 2019.
—WITH A REPORT FROM INQUIRER RESEARCH
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