March 22, 2010
The labor party-list Partido ng Manggagawa (PM) called on alleged bogus party-list groups to voluntarily withdraw rather than face exposure in the face of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) reminder than nominees must be disclosed no later than March 26.
“It is a better option for assailed party-list groups to pull-out from the elections rather than be revealed as fakes come March 26 and later face disqualification. A party-list of security guards is bogus if its first nominee is a presidential son who also happens to be an incumbent congressman. A party-list of transport workers is a sham if its first nominee is an ex-general who also happens to be cabinet secretary,” argued Renato Magtubo, PM chairperson.
PM is preparing to file disqualification cases against alleged bogus party-list groups once the list of nominees is released by the Comelec on March 27. The labor group is also holding consultations with other party-list organizations on a common agenda of defending the party-list system as means for representation for traditionally marginalized sectors. PM also declared that they will push for an amendment to the Party-List Law to make it mandatory for the Comelec to release the list of nominees.
Magtubo announced that PM will be submitting its list of nominees on the morning of Wednesday, the day after its congress ends. PM is presently holding in Quezon City a two-day congress which will elect five nominees ranked in order from among delegates from chapters across the country.
He stated that “Besides GMA’s not-so-hidden agenda of packing the House of Representatives with her relatives or former cabinet secretaries in order to get elected as House Speaker, the party-list is also being abused as a back-door entry for trapos who find it cheaper spending P20-30 million compared to P50 million or more in traditional congressional races.”
“In compliance with the letter and spirit of the constitution and party-list law, we will be choosing nominees who truly represent the working class. Without pre-empting the congress, PM’s five nominees can only be union officers, community leaders or former students who have spent their adult lives serving the struggles of the workers and the poor,” Magtubo explained.