Missing in action: ‘delicadeza’ among Philippines’ traditional politicians
Inquirer ran a list of “party-list winners” in the just concluded elections (“Winners of 59 seats in party-list race announced,” News, 05/20/16). Among the winners is “Mata,” short for “Ang Mata’y Alagaan” (AMA) whose first nominee is one Tricia Nicole Velasco-Catera, a daughter of former AMA party-list representative Lorna Velasco and Supreme Court justice Presbitero Velasco, who are also the parents of Marinduque representative Lord Alan Velasco!
Originally intended to enable “marginalized sectors” of society (that is, without ways and means to run an expensive electoral campaign) to be represented in the House of Representatives, the “party-list system” has now become the object of public ridicule. Given the number of “party-list” groupings approved by the Commission on Elections (following a Supreme Court ruling discarding “marginalized” as a criterion), any Tom, Dick or Harry can now form a corporation with dummies and have its nominee compete for a seat in Congress.
Take “Mata,” for instance. It was previously challenged in the Supreme Court as a bogus or pretentious “party-list.” Touted as aiming to help improve the lives of people with disabilities (PWDs), especially the visually impaired, by providing medical assistance anywhere in the country, its nominees have been some of the “most privileged” personalities in society. How they could ever pretend to speak for PWDs beats the heck out of everyone! It has in fact led critics to say that “Supreme Court Justice Velasco is shamelessly creating his own political dynasty”!
And this is apparently just the tip of the iceberg! Jaded politicos who could no longer run for reelection to the same office have descended upon this electoral limbo where anything and everything goes—all thanks to a Supreme Court which could not say no to one of its own! Doesn’t anyone have any sense of delicadeza in this country anymore?
—ANNALEE LAUDER, email@example.com
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