Apparently, it’s time to update the old saying. If at first you don’t succeed, try and try again—but this time as a party-list group. Politics. It’s certainly more fun in the Philippines.
The Commission on Elections decided to suspend the canvassing of party-list votes late afternoon of May 14, purportedly because of “issues” arising from the inclusion of disqualified party-list groups in the ballot.
Our organization, Abante Retirees, has a noble desire to represent all retirees—whether soldiers, teachers or government employees—who have served our country in their prime. Few realize, however, that there has never been an active organization (like ours now, even though we are still a fledgling group) committed to work for more benefits, rights and privileges due our fellow retirees and the marginalized sectors of our society.
By Fr. Joaquin G. Bernas S. J.
The controversial party-list cases have been remanded by the Supreme Court to the Commission on Elections for review. What the Comelec is required to do is to decide two related questions: (1) Which organizations may participate in the party-list system? (2) Who are qualified to represent the party-list organizations?
This refers to the column titled “The new party-list decision” (Inquirer, 4/15/13) of eminent Philippine Constitution framer Fr. Joaquin G. Bernas, S.J. As a layman, I saw Father Bernas’ explanation of the Supreme Court ruling slip into a case of “Catch 22.” Father Bernas explains that according to the ruling, the phrase “marginalized and underrepresented” refers only to those which by nature are economically marginalized; but then he justifies the inclusion of registered national, regional parties under “eiusdem generis,” but not necessarily in the sense of being economically disadvantaged.