Disgruntled disabled folk storm Comelec
KIMBERLY JANE T. TAN
An organization of persons with disabilities (PWD) on Friday stormed the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to protest why it had not been approved as an accredited party-list group in the May polls.
In an interview with reporters, Gigi Ruiz of the Disabled Pinoy Party-list (DPP) scored the poll body for denying the organization’s motion for reconsideration (MR) to be accredited as a party-list group in the May polls.
“This is just to express our indignation over the violation of our rights to political participation,” she said.
The DPP filed its petition for accreditation last October, which was denied the following month. The group filed an MR, which was then dismissed last March.
The Comelec said that the party-list organization did not have a national constituency and the ability to launch a national campaign.
But Ruiz said that PWDs constitute 10 percent of the Filipino population and that they have many leaders who have been working for their interests for a long time.
She also asked why the group had not been accredited, despite belonging to one of the marginalized sectors that the party-list system seeks to represent.
“We are one of the legitimate sectors na kailangang marerepresentahan sa Senate at Congress, sa legislative, kasi wala kaming boses (that need representation in the Senate and Congress, in the legislative, because we have no voice),” she said.
The Party-list System Act (Republic Act 7941) defines the party-list system as “a mechanism of proportional representation” in the election of representatives to the Lower House.
Ruiz likewise asked why the poll body chose to accredit seemingly “dubious” groups.
“Sino talaga ang nagrerepresent ng marginalized sectors in society, talaga bang bonafide members sila ng marginalized sector (Who really represents the marginalized sectors of society? Are they really bonafide members of the sector?,” she said.
Earlier, multisectoral poll watchdog Kontra Daya asked the poll body to investigate 40 party-list groups who are either supposedly backed by the administration or have nominees who are not really representative of the sector the group seeks to represent. (See: Comelec urged to investigate 40 party-lists)
A total of 187 party-list groups are listed on the official ballot for the May polls. —JV, GMANews.TV