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Party-list system: ‘biggest joke’ in PH politics

05:02 AM February 11, 2019

The Commission on Elections has reported an overabundance of 134 party-list groups vying for sectoral representations in the next Congress (“Koko, Serge in ‘final list’ of senatorial candidates,” 2/1/19).

Why that number has ballooned to such preposterous proportions is all thanks to the Supreme Court, which gave the green light to multimillionaires and political opportunists to represent farmers, the urban poor, tricycle drivers, jeepney or bus drivers, people with disabilities, etc., so long as they have “advocacies” kuno that inure to the latter’s benefit, or just about any miserable excuse for such vomit-inducing hypocrisies.

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Thus, we saw “Ang Mata’y Alagaan” (for the optically impaired?) already entrenched, spoken for exclusively by a very rich and healthy family.

Given that Supreme Court-sanctioned precedent, are “Ang Tenga’y Alagaan,” “Ang Labi’y Alagaan,” “Ang Ilong’y Alagaan,” “Ang Kili-Kili’y Alagaan,” “Ang Bilbil’y Alagaan,” ad nauseam, just waiting in the wings to be recognized, too?

Former chief justice Artemio V. Panganiban minced no words about the “bastardization” of this system (“Lessons from party-list fiasco,” 11/18/18).

The law on the party-list system (Republic Act No. 7941) was clearly meant to “enable Filipino citizens belonging to the marginalized and underrepresented sectors… to become members of the House of Representatives.”

“Belonging” plainly means being one of the marginalized sectors, not just having a “bleeding heart” (duh!) for them

To lay people, that mandate permits no esoteric interpretation. But the so-called “gods of Padre Faura”have brilliantly invented a meaning so absurd the law has now become the biggest joke in this country’s political history.

ROSE ANNE BARTOLOME, [email protected]

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TAGS: Inquirer letters, party-list system, Rose Anne Bartolome
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