Addicts, alcoholics disqualified by Comelec

By Mayen Jaymalin, The Philippine Star

Posted at Sep 27 2012 01:44 AM | Updated as of Sep 27 2012 09:31 PM

MANILA, Philippines - The Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Wednesday disqualified 17 party-list groups, including those representing addicts and alcoholics, from participating in next year’s elections.

The Comelec came out with the list of disqualified organizations after thorough deliberations on the applications for accreditation of party-list groups intending to run in the 2013 polls.

The poll body gave the list of the names of the organizations but did not cite the reason for their exclusion.

Those disqualified were the Asosasyon ng Mangangalakal (ASKAL), Addicts and Alcoholics Carrying the Message Association (AACMA, INC), Aksyon Mahirap (AMIN); 1-AANGAT KA PILIPINO (1-AK); Isa Akong Magsasaka Foundation (1 AM); Aniban ng Magtutubig ng Pilipinas (Ama ng Pilipinas); Sararong Bicolnon; United Philippine Transport Tricycle, Trisikidad, Habal-Habal Operators and Drivers Association (UPTHODA); Aurora Integrated Multi-Purpose Cooperative (1-AIMCOOP); and Nagkaisang Alay sa Bayan ng Maka-Diyos at Makabayang Nangangalakal (1ABAYAN).

Also delisted were Ako at ang Basura Movement (AKO BA); Alliance for Democracy and Morality-Bantay Pasahero (ADAM-BANTAY PASAHERO); National Crusaders for Peace and Democracy (NCPD); Mindanao Allied Forces (MAF); Vendors Aggrupation (@1Vendors); Bangon Mangingisda (BM); and Philippine Banana Pioneer Foundation Inc.

The Comelec said groups that have been accredited at the division level shall be automatically up for review and affirmation of the full commission.

However, the groups that were dismissed at the division level may still appeal their case.

Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes earlier said they will exert all efforts to come out with the list of disqualified party-list groups before the end of the month and those who would be allowed to run in 2013 by early to mid-October.

At least 289 party-list groups have filed Manifestations of Intent to Participate in the 2013 elections.

Brillantes said they are hoping to reduce the number from the 187 party-list groups that participated in the May 2010 polls.

A question of legitimacy

Meanwhile, the Federation of Philippine Industries Inc. (FPI) said that the Liquefied Petroleum Gas Marketers Association (LPGMA) should no longer be accredited as a party-list group because a business group occupying a seat at the House of Representatives will result in unfair competition.

“We have been opposing the accreditation of LPGMA as a party-list,” FPI chairman Jesus Arranza said, adding that the group is not representing a sector and it does not stand for a marginalized group.

He said the accreditation of LPGMA results in government financing a business sector.

Arranza said that LPGMA cannot be considered marginalized given its 40-percent market share.

But LPGMA party-list Rep. Arnel Ty said his group is representing the marginalized professional, which are the small LPG dealers who compete with the major oil companies.

Ty said LPGMA aims to give Filipino consumers more affordable fuel.

LPGMA is a group of independent cooking gas refillers in Metro Manila and neighboring areas. Its members include Island Gas, Regasco Gas, Pinnacle Gas, Cat Gas, M-Gas, Omni Gas and Nation Gas. – Neil Jerome Morales