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    Posted February 5, 2014 by

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    Phl lawmakers: Partylist not for society

    SEVEN lawmakers belonging to the nationalist bloc on Wednesday sought an amendment to Section 9 of the Party-list System Act to ensure it is truly reserved for the marginalized and underrepresented sectors of Philippine society.
    In filing House Bill 179, the nationalist bloc stressed that the Commission on Elections (Comelec) should conduct a public hearing that an organization, group or political party truly represents the marginalized and underrated sectors and its nominee actually belongs to the sector he/she seeks to represent.
    To be known as the Genuine Partylist Group and Nominee Act, the bill also seeks to disqualify from being a partylist nominee anyone who was elected and served as mayor, vice mayor, governor, vice governor, congressman, senator, vice president and president.
    It disqualifies those who are related to incumbent government officials by affinity or consanguinity to the 3rd degree, appointed and served in the Cabinet within five years from the partylist election they are being nominated for and served as the provincial director of the Philippine National Police or battalion commander of the Armed Forces of the Philippines or any higher position within five years from the partylist election they are being nominated for.
    The bill also provides that those whose income is more than the base pay of a partylist member of the House of Representatives during the partylist election they are being nominated for shall also be ineligible.
    The Supreme Court, in its ruling on May 9, 2001 in the Bayan Muna vs Comelec consolidated case where it dismissed the petition of the Bagong Bayani, declared that only those who belong to the marginalized and underrepresented shall be allowed in the partylist election.
    The bill said the Comelc reversed the ruling when it allowed nominees to run for the partylist elections as long as he or she is a member of the supposed marginalized and underrepresented group at least 90 days before the partylist elections.
    "The number of partylist representatives has come close to 20% of the total number of members of the House in the 15th Congress, and the growing concern then was the entry of partylists and nominees that were not truly representatives of the marginalized and underrepresented but are coming from powerful economic and political interests," the bill pointed out.
    The bill was filed by Reps. Neri Colmenares, Carlos Isagani Zarate, Luzviminda Ilagan, Emmi de Jesus, Antonio Tinio, Fernando Hicap and Terry Ridon.
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