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Comelec delisting party-list groups

Manila, Philippines – WITH the Commission on Elections’ issuance of Resolution 9366 which sets the rules and regulations for party list groups’ participation in the election, the COMELEC sets its sights on shortening the list of groups for the upcoming 2013 elections.

According to COMELEC Chair Sixto Brillantes whom I interviewed over my morning radio program in DWIZ 882AM recently, there are currently 187 accredited party list organizations. As the COMELEC is still receiving applications for accreditation until the end of March this year, that number could increase unless they take steps to delist certain groups.

Chairman Brillantes said that the resolution promulgated by the COMELEC provides certain grounds for cancellation of a party list organization’s accreditation. This includes being dormant or inactive, failing to submit reports and other documentary requirements to COMELEC, failing to get 2% of the votes over the last two elections, and failing to participate in two preceding elections.

He said that their law department is combing through the extensive list of accredited party list groups to determine which ones they can delist. Chairman Brillantes said that they have also increased the filing fee to Php10,000 in a move to lower the number of new applicants.

Party list representation has been abused in the past, with some groups not truly representative of a marginalized sector in the country, a key quality of a legitimate party list organization. Some personalities have also been known to take advantage of party list groups. Despite not being a true member of the sector, they get a seat in the House of Representatives by supposedly “leading“ the group. Situations like these are what the COMELEC wants to avoid in the coming elections. Chairman Brillantes said that they will come out with a resolution to announce the delisted groups in the coming weeks.