Who’s in, who’s out in party-list race?

VERA Files
Tinig Ng Botante

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.

Party-list Acronym Status
1 Isang Alyansang Aalalay sa Pinoy 1-AALALAY First-time
2 A Action Moral and Values Recovery Reform Philippines, Inc. 1-AAMOVER First-time
3 1-Abilidad 1-ABILIDAD 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
16 Append Inc. Append 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
25 Sanlakas SANLAKAS 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
44 Aangat Tayo AT 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
58 Abakada-Guro ABAKADA Retained
59 Abante Mindanao ABAMIN Retained
60 Abante Katutubo, Inc. ABANTE KA Retained
61 Abono Party-list ABONO 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
74 Alagad Alagad 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
85 Anakpawis Anakpawis 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
93 Bagong Henerasyon BH 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
100 Kabataan Party-list KABATAAN Retained
101 Kalinga KALINGA 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”.)