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More party list aspirants for 2010 – Comelec

Posted on: August 17, 2009

More party list aspirants for 2010 – Comelec

By Anna Valmero
INQUIRER.net
First Posted 17:13:00 08/17/2009

Filed Under: Politics, Elections

MANILA, Philippines — Various groups representing indigenous people, children and urban poor trooped to the Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Monday in a bid to join the 2010 elections for party list representation.

Today (August 17) is the last day of filing for party list nominees for next year’s elections. Deadline is at 5p.m. as declared by Comelec.

Katribu, a group representing indigenous people, held a small march composed of Cordillera and Mindanao tribesmen.

Nelson Mallari, the group’s secretary-general, said Katribu is the first party list that will push for “true parliamentary representation” for indigenous people on issues such as genuine recognition of their right to “self-determination”, self governance and right to ancestral domains and resources.

“What we get from traditional congressional leaders is nothing but pseudo representation. For the longest time, we have been marginalized in terms of economic, culture and political representation,” Mallari said.

Katribu has a voter’s base of 15 million from ten major indigenous tribes in the country, Mallari said.

Akap Bata (literally translated to “Hug a Child”) staged a fun run in Intramuros, leading to Comelec, intending it as a symbolic statement that the government should prioritize projects for children and the youth.

“Our leaders should prioritize giving education, social rights, health care and good governance to offer a better future for our children instead of splurging on that P1 million dinner that could feed hundreds of thousands of kids,” said Edwin Quinsayas, executive director of Akap Bata.

While filing a petition for accreditation, members of the urban poor group Partido Lakas ng Masa (PLM) held a small rally while waving placards that denounce traditional politicians or “trapos” in the 2010 polls.

PLM chairperson Sonny Melecio said his group will campaign for non-“trapo” candidates who are incorruptible and genuine representatives of the masses.

Comelec Commissioner Armando Velasco expects last minute for party list accreditation.

Velasco noted a revised formula that allows more than 50 seats for party list representatives in the Lower House.

With the rise in applications, he said Comelec will only be approving party lists that represent a marginalized sector such as the youth, women, urban poor or farmers. These groups also need to have a solid track record of projects for the sectors they represent.

“Under the new Supreme Court ruling on April on appreciation of votes for party listers, the National Board of Canvassers will declare 54 party list winners. It is much easier to get a House seat through party list representation than before with this revised formula,” Velasco said.

Since December 2008, around 120 sectoral parties have filed petitions for Comelec. Prior to the 2007 polls, Comelec received applications from around 90 groups.

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