'Lahat ng milyonaryo, may party-list': Duterte wants charter change to fix electoral system

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 04 2022 06:44 PM | Updated as of Apr 04 2022 07:28 PM

President Rodrigo Duterte talks to the people after holding a meeting with key government officials at the Arcadia Active Lifestyle Center in Matina, Davao City on March 29, 2022. Richard Madelo, Presidential Photo 
President Rodrigo Duterte talks to the people after holding a meeting with key government officials at the Arcadia Active Lifestyle Center in Matina, Davao City on March 29, 2022. Richard Madelo, Presidential Photo 

MANILA — President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday pushed for changing the constitution, saying it was "easy" for the country's elite to get elected to public office through the party-list system. 

Duterte said the constitution was patterned nearly "word for word" after that of the US and failed to account for "what will follow." 

"Lahat ng mga mayaman, buong Pilipinas, lahat ng mga milyonaryo, may party-list. Agawan sila ng party-list. Iyong ibang walang party-list, binibili nila... ‘Pag eleksyon, sila iyong may pera, sila iyong mananalo," Duterte said in a speech in Batangas province. 

(The rich, all over the Philippines, all the millionaires have party-lists. Those who do not have party-lists buy one. During elections, since they have money, they win.) 

"Kung magdating lang ang panahon, I am talking about the young ones, the mayors, congressman, palitan ninyo ang constitution… Itong constitution na ito is madaling maging bilyonaryo in public office, kung ginusto niya. Iyong iba naman talagang straight. Ang problema iyong mga oportunista," he added. 

(When the time comes, I am talking about the young ones, the mayors, congressman, change the constitution. Under this constitution, it is easy to be a billionaire in public office, if he or she wants. Some are straight. The problem are the opportunists.) 

Duterte was in Batangas to inspect an evacuation center in Mataasnakahoy town following the recent eruption of the Taal Volcano. 
 
Election watchdog Kontra Daya said in March that 120 out of 177 party-list groups were "identified with political clans and big businesses, as well as for having incumbent local officials, connections with the government and military, unknown or unclear advocacies and representations; and pending court cases and criminal charges."

Election lawyer Emil Marañon earlier said that a confluence of factors – including a 2013 Supreme Court ruling that made it possible for non-members of marginalized sectors to represent organizations allowed to run as party-list groups – led to the system's current state.

Marañon and other experts have urged Congress to review the 1995 Party-List System Law, along with members of the academe and other sectors, to fix its flaws. 

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Video courtesy of PCOO