MANILA, Philippines - Seven party-list groups, whose number of votes guarantee them seats in Congress, on Tuesday urged the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to proclaim them as soon as possible.
The Comelec deferred the proclamation of the party-list groups Ang Asosasyon Sang Mangunguma Nga Bisaya-Owa Mangunguma, Inc. (MBIS-OWA), Ako Bicol Political Party, Alliance for Nationalism and Democracy (ANAD), Butil Farmers Party (BUTIL), Citizens’ Battle Against Corruption (CIBAC), LPG Marketers Association, Inc. (LPGMA) and 1st Consumers Alliance for Rural Energy (1-CARE) because of pending disqualification cases against them.
The groups said the delay in proclamation would disenfranchise some 7 million people who voted for them in the May 10 elections.
"A lot of people are asking us 'When will you take office? What happened?'" Atty. Rodel Batocabe of Ako Bicol said.
In an interview, Comelec Spokesman James Jimenez said the commission en banc still needs to finish hearing the disqualification petitions, which question some of the nominees for the congressional seat.
"These would have to be expedited before they can get proclaimed. For the most part, a lot of them are arguing on the basis of projected results. Some have the right computations but there are procedural matters that have be disposed of before they are proclaimed," he told ANC.
Political analyst Ramon Casiple, meanwhile, said there is a need to reform the party-list system because the law has too many loopholes.
Republic Act 7941 or the Party-list System Act states that those who received at least 2 percent of the total votes cast for the party-list system shall be entitled to one congressional seat each while those who received more than 2 percent of the votes shall be entitled to additional seats in proportion to their total number of votes.
The incoming 15th Congress will have 57 seats for party-list groups.