A leader of the House of Representatives stressed the need to amend the party-list system to ensure that its purpose of giving greater representation to the marginalized and disadvantaged is achieved.
In a media forum, Deputy Speaker Bernadette Herrera said the term “marginalized” should be properly defined to make sure that the marginalized sectors or groups, including labor, peasant, urban poor, indigenous cultural communities, women, youth, and other such sectors are given representation in Congress as originally envisioned under the 1987 Constitution.
“There’s really a need to amend the party-list law… You have to properly define what marginalized means,” Herrera said.
“‘Yung sector na hindi naririnig, ‘yung sector na hindi napu-push ang agenda nila, ‘yun ang kinakailangan i-represent sa Congress.”
“My stand is that ‘yung sector na hindi naririnig, ‘yung sector na hindi napu-push ang agenda nila, ‘yun ang kinakailangan i-represent sa Congress (the sector that has no voice to push its agenda should be represented in Congress),” the veteran legislator added.
The seasoned lawmaker assured that the party-list groups in the chamber are “doing (their) best” to pass laws that would be beneficial to Filipinos.
Ang Probinsyano Party-list Rep. Alfred delos Santos echoed Herrera’s sentiment, adding that the representative does not have to come from the sector he or she represents as long as he or she advocates for their rights and welfare.
“Kailangan ng updates niyan palagi, kailangan ng masusing pag-aaral, at panibagong revisions ([The party-list system under the 1987 Constitution] needs constant updates, reviews, and revisions),” delos Santos said.
President Rodrigo Duterte wanted to remove the party-list provision in the 1987 Constitution because it has been allegedly used by left-leaning party-list groups as fronts of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and its armed wing New People’s Army (NPA).
“At least five party-list groups are serving as ‘legal fronts’ of the CPP.”
Duterte confirmed that at least five party-list groups are serving as “legal fronts” of the CPP.
Duterte issued the statement, as he backed the claim of National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) spokesperson for sectoral concerns and Communications Undersecretary Lorraine Badoy against five party-lists that are allegedly conniving with the CPP.
In his taped Talk to the People aired recently, Duterte said Badoy is “right” that party-list groups Kabataan, Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT), Bayan Muna, Anakpawis, and Gabriela, or the so-called “KABAG,” are in alliance with the communist group to topple the government.
“Sabihin ko sa inyo, tama si Lorraine Badoy na itong mga party-list na Kabataan, Anakpawis, Bayan Muna, Alliance of Concerned Teachers or ACT, at Gabriela, makita naman ninyo sa behavior nila (I will tell you, Lorraine Badoy is right about her claim against party-lists Kabataan, Anakpawis, Bayan Muna, Alliance of Concerned Teachers or ACT, and Gabriela. You could confirm that through their behavior),” Duterte said.
“Ang problema (The problem is) they are supporting, or they are really parang (perhaps), legal fronts ng (of the) Communist Party of the Philippines.”
He also lamented that the party-list groups allied with the CPP are using public funds to support the rebels.
Apart from the communists, the party-list groups are also being controlled by the rich, Duterte said.