Mocha Uson group picked last in ballot order for 2019 polls

Christian Esguerra, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 05 2018 01:16 PM | Updated as of Dec 05 2018 11:41 PM

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MANILA— (UPDATE) Mocha Uson’s party-list group was selected last while left-leaning Bayan Muna will be atop the official ballots in 2019 based on the Commission on Elections’ electronic raffle Wednesday.

Uson, a former palace communications official who resigned following a string of gaffes and controversies, is the first nominee of AA-Kasosyo, which was randomly picked at 181st spot.

But Comelec spokesman James Jimenez later clarified Uson's group might not end up last in ballot order after all. 

He said groups picked in the electronic raffle, but had sent no authorized representative to the proceedings, would be placed in alphabetical order after AA-Kasosyo.

ABS-CBN News counted at least 40 groups with no signatures on the raffle result released by the Comelec.

Uson, a former sexy dancer, earlier said she was joining the party-list election to go after groups belonging to the Makabayan bloc in the House of Representatives.

Bayan Muna is part of this bloc, which has been accused of fronting for communists rebels.

"Kaya nga ako pumasok dito para guluhin 'yang Makabayan bloc. I-Google niyo kung sino 'yang mga party-list ng Makabayan bloc, tingnan niyo kung sino ang nagtatago sa anyo ng party-list, na mga komunista na mga terrorist sympathizers, ayon kay Mayor Inday Sara," Uson said when she filed her nomination certificate last October.

Having been selected first, Bayan Muna will enjoy top billing for the first time since joining party-list elections in 2001.

DISADVANTAGE?

But some election strategists believe placing at the bottom of the party-list order is not necessarily a disadvantage because voters can also more easily identify them like those at the top.

In the past, many groups used names beginning with the letter “A” to make sure they would be placed high in the alphabetical order on the ballot.

But the Comelec later implemented a random order, prompting party-list groups to campaign harder using their assigned number on the ballot.

“It was apparent that party-list groups were adopting names that were fairly obsessive about getting to the top so you could see names that were starting with ‘AAA,’ not having anything to do at all with the advocacy being represented,” Comelec spokesman James Jimenez recalled.

With the random order, he said the Comelec was hoping that the names of party-list groups would “become more reflective of their actual advocacy.”