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Partylist law needs amendment – Akbayan bet

AJ de la Torre (The Freeman) - April 4, 2013 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines - A partylist nominee admitted that alarming developments in the partylist system call for amendments of the law.

But Akbayan partylist second nominee Barry Gutierrez said partylist should not be abolished as it is like taking out the voice of the people in the government.

“Admittedly, biased ang perspective namin. We feel it has really contributed to the quality of our legislation, it has opened up congress to different voices,” said Gutierrez who was in Cebu recently to represent former Akbayan representative and senatorial candidate Risa Hontiveros in the Liberal Party campaign caravan around the province.

Gutierrez added the system can be assessed and the law can be amended.

Republic Act 7941 or the Party-List System Act was approved in 1995 to ensure that the “marginalized and under-represented” sectors of the society are represented in Congress.

“Nagsipasukan ang traditional politicians. You have the likes of Mikee Arroyo, a very blatant example getting elected supposedly as representative of security guards,” Gutierrez said.

Gutierrez said that he supports the move of the Commission on Election to disqualify  some partylists.

Gutierrez was among those who pushed for the establishment of a partylist system in the country.

Last year, Comelec disqualified 38 partylists and has added more in the recent months for not proving its purpose of representing the marginalized sector. Since 2007, Gutierrez said that they have been pushing to amend the partylist system but this was not given priority in Congress.

He is hoping that this will push through in the 16th Congress with more legislators showing interest in the system’s amendments.

He also said that Akbayan is for the scrapping of pork barrel allocation or the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF).

“Legislators should legislate, the primary role is to craft policies. In other words we (Akbayan) are for the abolition of the pork barrel,” said Gutierrez.

But he said that since it is still being implemented, there should be transparency on how the PDAF is spent.— (FREEMAN)

AKBAYAN BARRY GUTIERREZ BUT AKBAYAN GUTIERREZ LIBERAL PARTY MIKEE ARROYO PARTY-LIST SYSTEM ACT PRIORITY DEVELOPMENT ASSISTANCE FUND REPUBLIC ACT RISA HONTIVEROS
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