The COMELEC and the Party-List System
The COMELEC in its voting has upheld the ruling of its second division to dismiss the disqualification cases filed against Mikey Arroyo by Bayan Muna party-list Rep. Satur Ocampo and Gabriela party-list Rep. Liza Maza. The Comelec has voted 4-2-1 to allow Juan Miguel “Mikey” Arroyo to represent the party-list group “Ang Galing Pinoy” which composes the sectors of security guards, unorganized groups of taxi, FX taxi, jeepney and bus drivers, vendors, small-scale businessmen and jobless individuals.
With this decision, the COMELEC is now under fire from various organizations as to the legality of its ruling. In its previous decision on party-list “Ang Kasangga” represented by Rep. Teodorico Haresco, the body disqualified the nominee on grounds that he does not belong to the underrepresented sector of microentrepreneurs. Thus, the question is – what is the difference between the two party-lists which makes the COMELEC decided differently?
REPUBLIC ACT NO. 7941, Sec. 2, states that…
The State shall promote proportional representation in the election of representatives to the House of Representatives through a party-list system of registered national, regional and sectoral parties or organizations or coalitions thereof, which will enable Filipino citizens belonging to the marginalized and underrepresented sectors, organizations and parties, and who lack well-defined political constituencies but who could contribute to the formulation and enactment of appropriate legislation that will benefit the nation as a whole, to become members of the House of Representatives. Towards this end, the State shall develop and guarantee a full, free and open party system in order to attain the broadest possible representation of party, sectoral or group interests in the House of Representatives by enhancing their chances to compete for and win seats in the legislature, and shall provide the simplest scheme possible.
The article clearly states the promotion of party-list to allow the representation of Filipino citizens that belong to the marginalized and underrepresented sectors, thus, the objective of the framers of the constitution was to provide those marginalized and underrepresented sectors participation in the formulation of laws for the benefit of the nation. Therefore, Commissioners Nicodemo Ferrer, Lucenito Tagle, Elias Yusoph and Armando Velasco, who approved the assumption of office as the first nominee of the party, finds Mr. Juan Miguel “Mikey” Arroyo logically belong to the marginalized and underrepresented sectors of guards and drivers?
The COMELEC was mandated to enforce and administer all laws and regulations relative to the conduct of an election. They are responsible for the protection and implementation of electoral laws. However, their actions, rulings and decisions are a clear contrast of their mandate; they are the one degrading the system, the very system that should protect the rights and interests of the people. These breed of administrators are already rotten. They should be segregated from the system; otherwise, they will send our country to be doomed forever…
How about you Pinoy, what do you think of the COMELEC’s decision re Mikey Arroyo’s assumption of office?