By Mikha Flores, VERA Files
After starting with more than 300 names, party-lists allowed to run in the May 13 elections are now down to a little over a hundred. They will be vying for 58 seats in Congress.
The Commission on Elections began with 352 party-lists—187 holdovers from the 2010 elections and 165 new entrants.
The list is now down to 108. Of this number, 84 received accreditation after undergoing stringent Comelec review, while 24 groups were reinstated after the Supreme Court issued last April new parameters in determining the qualifications of organizations applying for accreditation as party-lists. (See table below for complete list).
Ako Bicol, the number one party-list in the 2010 elections, is back in the race a week before the elections. Incumbent party-lists like 1 Care, APEC, Aangat Tayo and Kakusa were also part of the 24 groups reinstated.
Juan Miguel Arroyo’s Ang Galing Pinoy (AGP) party-list was still barred from running. Comelec also sustained the cancellation of Senior Citizens and ANAD, party-lists that have incumbent nominees in Congress.
The SC ruling opened the field to all types of national, regional and sectoral organizations, and removed the bias in favor of marginalized sectors, causing an uproar among progressive groups and individuals who regard the party-list system as a tool for social justice.
Of the 84 groups that received accreditation prior to the SC ruling, 58 are existing party-lists that were retained and 26 are first-time applicants.
The first-timers include Pilipinos with Disabilities (PWD), a party-list representing the disabled sector in their bid to elect the first person with disability (PWD) party-list in Congress. Ang Nars, Magdalo, Migrante, Piston and Sanlakas were also accredited.
Party-lists that were retained include incumbents like AAMBIS-OWA, AA Kasosyo, ACT Teachers, Agham, Bayan Muna, Gabriela, DIWA and Akbayan.
Reducing the number did not come easy for Comelec.
The purge started as early as April 2012. Comelec cancelled 60 party-lists from the 187 that participated in 2010. In Resolution No. 9412, Comelec disqualified the 60 from participating after failing to earn two percent of votes cast for the party-list system in the last two elections or failing to participate in two consecutive elections as provided by the party-list law.
Resolution 9513 came next where Comelec ordered the review of all existing parties that will participate in the 2013 elections. Comelec scheduled hearings for all registered party-list groups to determine whether they are still complying with the party-list law.
Reforming the Party-list System
Since the first party-list elections in 1998, five Chairmen headed the Commission on Elections but none bothered to review the existing party-lists until Sixto Brilliantes Jr. did a year ago.
"This is the first time that we went into a review of the existing party-lists and we have removed plenty of them," Brillantes said at that time.
All pending cases of first-time applicants were also forwarded to the Comelec en banc for automatic review.
In previous elections, Comelec’s First and Second Divisions were in-charge of accrediting party-lists. If the Division grants the petition for accreditation, the party-list is now allowed to participate in the elections.
If the division denies the petition, the part-list can file a motion for reconsideration (MR) at the Comelec en banc.
This time, all approved party-lists at the Division level still had to go through the en banc for final approval. Likewise, the disapproved party-lists in the Division level can file an MR at the en banc to reverse the division decision.
The review cancelled 54 existing party-lists and disallowed 139 new applicants.
Comelec then issued a resolution calling for an automatic en banc review of all existing party-lists and first-time applicants.
In the automatic review, 54 existing groups were cancelled while 58 were retained out of the 112 which expressed their intent to run in 2013. Twenty-six new applicants were granted while 140 were denied out of the 165 that petitioned for accreditation this year.
Comelec cancelled the accreditation for groups like Arroyo’s AGP mainly for failing to prove that their nominees belong to the marginalized sectors or showing track record of serving the sectors they intend to represent.
The review did not sit well with more than 50 party-list groups who rushed to the Supreme Court to challenge the Comelec’s decision. They got a reprieve. The high court issued status quo ante (SQA) orders to 54 party-list cases and eventually remanded the cases to the Commission on Elections.
Of these 54 party-lists, 24 received the poll body’s accreditation and are now among the 108 in the Comelec’s latest list. But this number may still change.
The cases of three party-lists—Pacyaw, 1-Utak and Pasang Masda—are undergoing a re-hearing based on the new guidelines. Another three—LPGMA, PISTON and Kabataan—are in danger of losing their accreditation for poster violations.
Table 1. Who’s in? Party-lists eligible to run on May 13.
|1||Isang Alyansang Aalalay sa Pinoy||1-AALALAY||First-time|
|2||A Action Moral and Values Recovery Reform Philippines, Inc.||1-AAMOVER||First-time|
|4||1 Joint Alliance of Marginalized Group, inc.||1JAMG||First-time|
|5||Isang Lapian ng Mangingisda at Bayan Tungo sa Kaunlaran||1-LAMBAT||First-time|
|6||Isang Pangarap ng Bahay sa Bagong Buhay ng Maralitang Kababayan, Inc.||1-PABAHAY||First-time|
|7||Ating Agapay Sentrong Samahan ng mga Obrero, Inc.||AASENSO||First-time|
|8||Abante Retirees Party-list Organization||ABANTE RETIREES||First-time|
|9||Anti-Crime and Terrorism Community Involvement and Support, Inc||ACT-CIS||First-time|
|10||Advance Community Development in New Generation||ADING||First-time|
|11||Aagapay sa Matatanda||AMA||First-time|
|12||Association of Marine Officer and Ratings||AMOR SEAMAN||First-time|
|13||Sectoral Party of Ang Minero||ANG MINERO||First-time|
|14||Ang Nars||Ang Nars||First-time|
|15||Ang Prolife||Ang Prolife||First-time|
|17||Ating Guro||ATING GURO||First-time|
|18||Anti-War / Anti Terror Mindanao Peace Movement||AWAT MINDANAO||First-time|
|19||Magdalo Para sa Pilipino||Magdalo||First-time|
|20||Migrante Sectoral Party of Overseas Filipinos and their Families||MIGRANTE||First-time|
|21||Mamamayan Tungo sa Maunlad na Pilipinas||MTM Phils||First-time|
|22||OFW Family Club, Inc.||OFW Family||First-time|
|23||Piston Land Transport Coalition||PISTON||First-time|
|24||Pilipinos with Disabilities||PWD||First-time|
|26||Ugnaya ng Maralita Laban sa Kahirapan||UMALAB KA||First-time|
|27||1 Bro-Philippine Guardians Brotherhood||1BRO-PGBI||Reinstated|
|28||1st Consumers Alliance For Rural Energy, Inc.||1-CARE||Reinstated|
|29||1 Guardians Nationalist of the Phiippines,Inc.||1GANAP / GUARDIANS||Reinstated|
|30||A Blessed Federation of Farmers and Fishermen of Inc.||A BLESSED||Reinstated|
|31||Alliance of Advocates in Mining Advancement for National Progress||AAMA||Reinstated|
|32||Ang Agrikultura Natin Isulong||AANI||Reinstated|
|33||Alliance of Bicolnon Party||ABP||Reinstated|
|34||Action Brotherhood For Active Dreamers, Inc.||ABROAD||Reinstated|
|35||Agri-Agra na Reporma para sa Magsasaka ng Pilipinas Movement||AGRI||Reinstated|
|36||Ako Bicol Political Party||AKB||Reinstated|
|37||Aksyon Magsasaka – Partido Tinig ng Masa||AKMA-PTM||Reinstated|
|38||Adhikain at Kilusan ng Ordinaryong Tao Para Sa Lupa Pabahay Hanapbuhay at Kaunlaran||AKO BAHAY||Reinstated|
|39||Action League of Indigenous Masses||ALIM||Reinstated|
|40||Association of Philippine Electric Cooperatives||APEC||Reinstated|
|41||Association For Righteousness Advocacy In Leadership Party list||ARAL||Reinstated|
|42||Alliance For Rural And Agrarian Reconstruction Inc||ARARO||Reinstated|
|43||Alliance For Rural Concerns||ARC||Reinstated|
|45||Bayani Party List||BAYANI||Reinstated|
|46||Butil Farmers Party||BUTIL||Reinstated|
|47||Firm 24-K Association, Inc.||FIRM 24-K||Reinstated|
|48||Green Force||GREEN FORCE||Reinstated|
|49||Kapatiran Ng Mga Nakulong Na Walang Sala Inc.||KAKUSA||Reinstated|
|50||United Movement Against Drug Foundation,Inc.||UNI-MAD||Reinstated|
|51||Una ang Pamilya Party-list||1 ANG PAMILYA||Retained|
|52||1 BANAT and AHAPO Party-list Coalition||1BAP||Retained|
|53||Social Amelioration and Genuine Intervention on Poverty||1-SAGIP||Retained|
|54||Advocacy for Teacher Empowerment Through Action and Harmony Towards Educational Reforms||A TEACHER||Retained|
|55||Kasosyo Producer||AA Kasosyo||Retained|
|56||Ang Asosasyon Sang Mangunguma Nga Bisaya-Owa Mangunguma, Inc.||AAMBIS-OWA||Retained|
|57||Alyansang Bayanihan ng mga Magsasaka, Manggagawang Bukid at Mangingisda||ABA||Retained|
|60||Abante Katutubo, Inc.||ABANTE KA||Retained|
|62||Arts Business and Science Professionals||ABS||Retained|
|63||Act Teachers Party List||ACT Teachers||Retained|
|64||Agrarian Development Association||ADA||Retained|
|65||Adhikain ng mga Dakilang Anak Maharlika||ADAM||Retained|
|66||Alliance for Philippine Security Guards Cooperative||AFPSEGCO||Retained|
|67||Agricultural Sector Alliance of the Philippines||AGAP||Retained|
|68||Agbiag Timpuyog Ilocano, Inc.||AGBIAG||Retained|
|69||Alyansa ng mga Grupong Haligi ng Agham at Teknolohiya para sa Mamamayan||AGHAM||Retained|
|70||Agila ng Katutubong Pilipino, Inc.||AGILA||Retained|
|71||AkapBata Sectoral Organization for Children, Inc.||AKAPBATA INC.||Retained|
|72||Akbayan Citizens' Action Party||AKBAYAN||Retained|
|73||Ako Ayoko sa Bawal na Droga||AKO||Retained|
|75||Alay Buhay Community Development Foundation||ALAY BUHAY||Retained|
|76||Association of Laborers and Employees||ALE||Retained|
|77||Ang Laban ng Indiginong Filipino||ALIF||Retained|
|78||Alyansa Lumad Mindanao, Inc.||ALLUMAD||Retained|
|79||Alyansa ng OFW Party||Alyansa ng OFW||Retained|
|80||Ang Mata'y Alagaan||AMA||Retained|
|81||Anak Mindanao Party-list||AMIN||Retained|
|82||Alyansa ng Media at Showbiz||AMS||Retained|
|83||An Waray||An Waray||Retained|
|84||Ang National Coalition of Indigenous Peoples Action Na||ANAC-IP||Retained|
|86||Kasangga sa Kaunlaran, Inc.||Ang Kasangga||Retained|
|87||Ang Ladlad||Ang Ladlad||Retained|
|88||Ang Partido ng mga Pilipinong Marino Inc.||ANGKLA||Retained|
|89||Adhikaing Tinataguyod ng Kooperatiba||ATING KOOP||Retained|
|90||Abante Tribung Makabansa||ATM||Retained|
|91||Alliance of Volunteer Educators Party-list||AVE||Retained|
|92||Bayan Muna||Bayan Muna||Retained|
|94||Buhay Hayaan Yumabong||BUHAY||Retained|
|95||Citizens' Battle Against Corruption||CIBAC||Retained|
|96||Cooperative Natcco Network Party||COOP NATCCO||Retained|
|97||Democratic Independent Workers Association, Inc.||DIWA||Retained|
|98||Gabriela Women's Party||GABRIELA||Retained|
|99||Katipunan ng mga Anak ng Bayan All Filipino Democratic Movement||Kaakbay||Retained|
|102||Katribu Indigenous Peoples Sectoral Party||KATRIBU||Retained|
|103||Kababaihang Lingkod Bayan sa Pilipinas||KLBP||Retained|
|104||LPG Marketers Association, Inc.||LPGMA||Retained|
|105||Puwersa ng Bayaning Atleta||PBA||Retained|
|106||Trade Union Congress Party||TUCP||Retained|
|107||Veterans Freedom Party||VFP||Retained|
|108||You Against Corruption and Poverty||YACAP||Retained|
(VERA Files is put out by senior journalists taking a deeper look at current issues. Vera is Latin for “true”.)