This file photo shows Comelec chair Sheriff Abas.
The STAR/Joven Cagande, File
Comelec: Review, revamp of party-list law up to Congress
( - May 22, 2019 - 4:39pm

MANILA, Philippines — The Commission on Elections will study proposals on possible amendments to the party-list system law but the fate of the party-list system is in the hands of Congress.

Comelec chairperson Sheriff Abas made the statement in a press briefing Wednesday amid calls to revisit the party-list system after groups said to controlled by political clans and large parties are poised to dominate the race.

Abas said the poll body can lobby both houses to make changes but it is Congress that has the final say.

“After elections, siguro magbibigay kami ng proposal but it’s the call of the Congress. Sila kasi ‘yung may power to amend the party-list system,” he said.

(Maybe after elections, we can give proposal but it’s the call of Congress because they have the power to amend the party-list system.)

The Comelec chief added: “But of course, depende ‘yan sa sasabihin ng mga tao kasi kung merong malakas na push na i-amend ‘yung party-list baka naman ma-persuade ‘yung mga congressmen natin.”

(But of course, it depends on what the public wants because if there’s a strong push to amend the party-list [system], the congressmen might be persuaded.)

Abas also said the Comelec en banc’s concern is limited tp the registration, accreditation and proclamation of party-list groups.

Rep. Edcel Lagman (Albay) on Tuesday said there is a need to revisit the party-list system law as he stressed it has been “bastardized” by Comelec.

The party-list system was created in the 1987 Constitution aiming to give marginalized sectors or groups representations in Congress. Party-list Act, enacted in 1995, also limited the system to the marginalized and the political underclass.

But a Supreme Court decision said the party-list system is open to various kinds of groups and parties and is not exclusive to the marginalized sector.

The Comelec as National Board of Canvassers will proclaim at least 45 winning party-list groups Wednesday evening.

Anti-Crime and Terrorism through Community Involvement and Support (ACT-CIS) is the party-list that received the most votes. It was followed by Bayan Muna, Ako Bicol, CIBAC, Ang Probinsyano, 1PACMAN, Marino, Probinsyano Ako, Senior Citizens and Magsasaka. — Gaea Katreena Cabico

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