Comelec’s confusing rulings

THIS IS in connection with the reports on the cleansing of the party-list system by the Commission on Elections, particularly on its recent decision to accredit Akbayan and Bayan Muna.

It is unfortunate that this noble undertaking has come under a cloud because of the lack of credible, consistent and uniform guidelines.

According to the Comelec, while Ako Bicol, Akbayan and Bayan Muna are multisectoral political parties, they differ when it comes to their track records—Ako Bicol has none to speak of. Has the Comelec redefined the meaning of “track record”? Doesn’t the “track record” the Comelec refers to refer to the legislative performance and constituency work geared towards uplifting the lives of underrepresented and marginalized sectors? The legislative performance of Ako Bicol can be easily verified in the website of the House of Representatives, which states that this party-list group has countless bills and advocacies to speak of. Likewise, the website of Ako Bicol and other publicly accessible sources show that the same party list has numerous programs and projects for marginalized and underrepresented sectors. As it is, the bases of the Comelec for disqualifying party lists are now very confusing. Hence, it bears watching how the Comelec will decide on the other party lists.

For example, the Comelec disqualified Ako Bicol for being a geographically based party list which allegedly duplicates the functions of district congressmen. How will the Comelec treat similar groups like An Waray, Abante Mindanao, Agbiag Timpuyog Ilocano, Anak Mindanao, Abyan Ilongo or Ako Bisaya? Or if the Comelec disqualified party lists like APEC and 1Care which represent electric cooperatives, how will it decide on party lists representing multimillion-peso cooperatives like Coop-Natco, Ating Koop or Butil? Or how will it justify the accreditation of Piston while disqualifying other known transport groups like Pasang Masda and Acto?

It also bears watching how the Comelec will treat party lists like Abono whose nominees belong to well-known, entrenched political dynasties (e.g., the Ortega and Estrella clans), or party lists like BH and ALIF that look like a “family affair,” their nominees being all related to each other or to their politician-founder?

Or will the Comelec have the political will to disqualify party lists that are publicly known as adjuncts of sectarian groups like Buhay, whose first nominee is the son of Bro. Mike Velarde of El Shaddai; or Cibac whose first nominee is Rep. Sherwin Tugna, the son-in-law of Bro. Eddie Villanueva of Jesus is Lord Movement?

The Comelec should be able to back its decisions on accrediting or not accrediting party-list groups with consistent, credible and legally tenable justifications.

As it appears now, instead of cleansing the party-list system, the Comelec is creating a bigger mess out of it. Or is the exercise all for show—for reasons only the Comelec knows?

—JAYSON TUBALINAL CARULLA, jay_carulla@yahoo.com.ph

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Short URL: http://opinion.inquirer.net/?p=41743

Tags: Comelec , letters , partylists

Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94


  • Russia not abiding by agreement on Ukraine—Obama
  • Magnitude 6.7 quake off British Columbia coast
  • Blue ribbon committee not yet recalling Napoles
  • Ex-church leader nabbed for selling drugs
  • Camilla’s brother dies in US after head injury
  • Sports

  • Benzema guides Madrid to 1-0 win over Bayern
  • Suns’ Goran Dragic win NBA’s Most Improved Player award
  • Heat go up 2-0, hold off Bobcats 101-97
  • Ronaldo shakes off injury fears to play Bayern
  • Mavs roll past Spurs 113-92, even series at 1-1
  • Lifestyle

  • Photos explore dynamics of youths’ sexual identity
  • 12th Philippine Food Expo set at the World Trade Center
  • No tourist draw, Malang the croc will remain wild
  • The best flavors of summer in one bite, and more
  • Homemade yogurt, bread blended with pizza, even ramen
  • Entertainment

  • Has Ai Ai fallen deeply with ‘sireno?’
  • Sony developing live-action Barbie comedy
  • California court won’t review Jackson doctor case
  • Return of ‘Ibong Adarna’
  • Practical Phytos plans his future
  • Business

  • Facebook profits triple as mobile soars
  • Insular Honors Sales Performers at Testimonial Rites
  • Apple increases stock buyback, will split stock
  • Cost-recovery provisions for affected gencos urged
  • This time, BIR goes after florists
  • Technology

  • Top Traits of Digital Marketers
  • No truth to viral no-visa ‘chronicles’
  • ‘Unlimited’ Internet promos not really limitless; lawmakers call for probe
  • Viber releases new design for iPhone, comes to Blackberry 10 for the first time
  • Engineers create a world of difference
  • Opinion

  • Editorial cartoon, April 24, 2014
  • Talking to Janet
  • Respite
  • Bucket list
  • JPII in 1981: walking a tightrope
  • Global Nation

  • Filipinos in Middle East urged to get clearance before returning
  • PH seeks ‘clearer assurance’ from US
  • China and rivals sign naval pact to ease maritime tensions
  • What Went Before: Manila bus hostage crisis
  • Obama arrives in Tokyo, first stop of 4-nation tour
  • Marketplace