[from Rappler.com] MANILA, Philippines – There’s no stopping at least 14 groups from getting their much-desired partylist seat in Congress, even after being delisted by the Commission on Elections (Comelec).
Partylist groups that were earlier rejected or delisted by the poll body took another chance to be included in the 2013 midterm elections. They are among the more than 200 groups that beat the March 30 deadline for registration for partylist representation in next year’s polls. These groups are:
- Magdalo Para Sa Pilipino (Magdalo)
- Migrante International (Migrante)
- Ang Nars Inc (Ang Nars)
- Courage Government Employees (Courage)
- Ang Guardia Alliance (AGA)
- Anti War / Anti Terror Mindanao Peace Movement (Awat Mindanao)
- 1 Ang Bagong Alyansang Tagpataguyod ng Adhikaing Sambayanan (1 Ang Batas)
- Asosasyon ng mga Kasambahay sa Pilipinas Inc (Kasambahay)
- Samahan ng mga Personero sa Aduana (SPA)
- Alyansa ng Lapiang Security Guards sa Pilipinas (Alas-Gwardya)
- Sanlakas (Sanlakas)
- Ang Ating Damayan (ADD)
- Alab ng Pusong Pinoy, Inc. (ALAB)
- Registration of Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Association (ARBA)
These groups were either rejected by the poll body when they registered in previous elections, or were disqualified after being accredited.
Among these groups are Migrante and Sanlakas, which were delisted in 2009 and were not included in the 2010 elections. They are among the 25 groups removed by Comelec for failing to get the required number of votes in the 2004 and 2007 elections.
Under Republic Act 7941 or the Party-list System Act, the election body can cancel the accreditation of a partylist group if it “fails to participate or obtain at least 2% of the votes cast under the party-list system in the 2 preceding elections.”
Other groups that were not allowed to join the 2010 elections are Magdalo and Courage. The poll body junked both parties’ petition for accreditation also in 2009.
Comelec claims that it rejected Magdalo’s accreditation because the group has not admitted that their takeover in the Oakwood incident on July 27, 2003 was wrong, and it rejected Courage’s accreditation for the latter’s alleged failure to prove that it represents a marginalized and under-represented sector.
Also wishing for another chance for partylist representation are groups AWAT MINDANAO and ADD, which were among the 62 groups recently delisted by the poll body. They were able to join the 2010 elections, but were later on delisted due to the finality of the decision of either the Comelec or the Supreme Court (SC) denying their partylist registration.
Some groups have also decided to change their acronyms, particularly creating one that would put them on the upper part of the aphabetically-arranged list of candidates the ballot.
The automation of Philippine elections in 2010 has required ballots to bear the names of all candidates. And since names are listed alphabetically, groups came up with names to ensure they appear on top of the list.
Among the 187 partylist groups listed in the 2010 election ballots, 12 groups had their acronyms beginning with the number 1, while 103 groups had their acronyms beginning with the letter A.
Majority of those who have registered for the 2013 polls followed the same track, as most of them begin their acronym with the number 1:
|1-Ang Maharlika||1 Pagasa|
|1 Adhikain||1-Aid Dalaw|
|1 Pinoy for Kalikasan||1ePinoy|
|1 Ang Batas||1-AIMCOOP|
|1A Adhikain||1Wil Serve|
As for the previously delisted groups, those which changed their names include ADD (formerly named Damayan) and 1 Ang Batas (formerly named Batas).
Two groups, the Barangay Natin (Banat) and Advocacy for Health, Progress and Opportunity (1-AHAPO), even merged and created a new group: 1-BAP.
Comelec has already started to hear the petitions filed by all groups on Tuesday, May 2. The poll body hopes to finish processing all petitions by the end of May or June.