Gabriela slams Comelec ‘inaction’ on 3-seat petition
Gabriela Women’s Party on Tuesday slammed the Commission on Elections (Comelec) for its supposed inaction over its petition seeking three seats at the House of Representatives.
In a rally before the Comelec headquarters in Intramuros, protesters led by Gabriela Rep. Arlene Brosas lamented how the poll body decided on the Liberal Party’s late submission of its Statement of Campaign Contributions and Expenditures (SOCE) “but remained silent on the issue of correcting mathematical errors that [have] deprived women of a third representative in Congress.”
“Kung gusto, laging may paraan, kung ayaw, may dahilan. Napakabilis ng COMELEC sa paglabas noong Hunyo ng desisyon na nagpalusot sa atrasadong pagsumite ng LP sa kanilang SOCE. Binigyang luwag ang LP sa kanilang paglabag upang mapahintulutan sa pag-upo ang kanilang mga kandidato sa iba’t ibang posisyon,” Brosas said in a statement, calling for an en banc convention to decide on their petition.
“Samantalang ang petisyon ng Gabriela para iwasto ng COMELEC ang mali nilang pagkwenta ng alokasyon ng kinatawan para sa partylist ay hindi pa din inaaksyunan hanggang ngayon,” she said.
(If there’s a will, there’s a way. The Comelec acted swiftly regarding the decision on allowing the delayed submission of the LP’s SOCE. The LP was let off the hook to allow their candidates to take office.
(However, the petition of Gabriela to correct the Comelec in their erroneous allocation for the partylist seats has yet to be acted on.)
On May 20, Gabriela filed an omnibus motion for reconsideration and correction of error, asserting that the Comelec should have allocated 60 seats for party-list representatives “since this is 20 percent of 238 congressional districts under the 17th Congress, instead of 59 which falls short of what the law requires.”
Brosas urged the poll body to convene en banc and grant a third seat for its third nominee, Bai Ali Indayla.
Echoing Gabriela, militant partylist alliance Makabayan Coalition urged the Comelec to “immediately proclaim” Indayla.
“We affirm that the COMELEC has indeed made an error is using 59 instead of 59.5 or 60 in determining the number of seats that should be allocated to partylist organizations in the 17th Congress. Using 59 as the base figure for computation falls short of what is provided by law: that 20% of the members of the House of Representatives should come from partylist groups,” Makabayan said in a statement.
“Considering that there are currently 238 legislative districts, it is but correct and just that 60 partylist representatives must be proclaimed. In consonance with the spirit and intent of the partylist law to grant representation to the poor and marginalized, the third representative of Gabriela Women’s Party, Bai Ali Indayla must be proclaimed,” the group added. YG/rga