"Betrayal" Of Party-list Law
By Kristine L. Alave
Philippine Daily Inquirer
The Comelec has voted 4-2-1 to allow Juan Miguel “Mikey” Arroyo to represent the party-list group Ang Galing Pinoy, but Election Chair Jose Melo said the poll body’s latest ruling and that on another party-list group, Ang Kasangga, were “contradictory.”
Election Commissioners Nicodemo Ferrer, Lucenito Tagle, Elias Yusoph and Armando Velasco—all members of the second division except for Yusoph—approved Arroyo’s assumption of office as the first nominee of a group that claims to speak for the guards and drivers.
Commissioners Gregorio Larrazabal and Rene Sarmiento of the first division dissented, saying a “yes” vote would be a betrayal of the party-list law.
Melo did not take part in the voting.
Asked on Tuesday if it would be dangerous for the Comelec to issue two conflicting decisions on party-list groups, he replied in the affirmative. He also said those opposed to the en banc ruling could seek a restraining order from the Supreme Court.
Militant groups are determined to block Arroyo, the eldest child of the former First Couple and a former representative of Pampanga, from again taking a seat in the House.
Through its secretary general Renato Reyes, Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) said the Comelec ruling “is utterly despicable and truly destroys the essence of the party-list system.”
Reyes also said Arroyo’s presence at the opening of Congress on July 26 would “insult the entire Filipino people.”
Bayan Muna party-list Rep. Teodoro Casiño, whose colleagues had earlier sought Arroyo’s disqualification as Ang Galing Pinoy nominee, said the Comelec ruling allowed those in power and in positions of influence to coopt the party-list system.
He said Bayan Muna would appeal the ruling before the high court.
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Kailan kaya tuluyang mawala ang Wang-wang na pag-iisip ng karamihan sa mga taga-Comelec? Pero mga taga-Comelec lang ba ang may bahid ng Wang-wang na mentalidad?
Bakit kaya na kung pagdating sa pagsunod o pagpa-iral sa batas ay hindi pa rin mawala-wala itong ating lumang pag-iisip at pag-uugali na kung may pagkakataon ay sumasamantala sa kapangyarihan upang tangkaing baluktotin o impluwensyahan ang sistema ng ating batas para sa isang hangarin sa pamamaraang labag sa kung ano ang dapat, wasto, at tamang gawa?
Kailan pa kaya tayo tunay na magbago? Kailan kaya ang Wang-wang tuluyang maalis hindi lang sa mga kalsada at mga lansangan kundi lalo na sa mga kalye at mga sulok ng ating mga puso at isipan kung saan dito ang pugad nito?
Binibigyan tayo ngayon ng panibagong pagkakataong magbago, magbago ka ba o wawangwang-wangwang ka pa rin?