BAGUIO CITY July 5 – Former Constitutional Commission (ConCom) member Cristian Monsod disclosed that there is rampant corruption in the Commission on elections (Comelec) on the registration of party-list groups that is why there are people who are not supposed to be heads of marginalized groups representing the vulnerable sectors of the country.
Monsod was one of the resource persons during the annual National Press Forum of the Philippine Press Institute where he shared his insights on what has happening in the country’s government systems among others.
The former Comelec chairperson claimed that the poll body is aware of the rampant corruption involved in the registration of the party-list groups but he does not understand why the same has not stopped over the past several decades that the party-list system has been in place.
Aside from seeking the possible amendment of the existing guidelines on the registration of the party-list groups, Monsod proposed that interest groups should go back to the Supreme Court (SC) in a bid to change the established jurisprudence so that it will only be the bonafide members of the marginalized groups who will be authorized to be their party-list representatives.
Unfortunately he noted that even non-farmers, non-security guards among others are allowed to represent farmers and other marginalized sectors which no longer serves the purpose of the party-list system as enshrined in the 1987 Constitution.
Of the present batch of party-list representatives in the 18th Congress, he claimed that there are many representatives of some party-list groups who actually are supposed to be in their positions because they are not actually members of the country’s marginalized groups aside from the fact that there were political parties who were able to win seats in the House of Representatives.
Under existing rules and regulations on the registration of party-list groups and the determination of the seats that will be given to them, a party-list group must be able to get at least 2 percent of the total number of voters that casted their votes and that each group can have a maximum of 3 sets depending on the votes that said groups were able to garner.
Based on the party-list groups that were able to obtain seats in the House of Representatives for the 18th Congress, there contractors group who call themselves Probinciano and that the said group is not actually part of the country’s vulnerable sectors.
Monsod asserted that there will come a time that the country’s marginalized sectors will be deprived of their representations in Congress through the party-list system if there will be non-members who will continue to takeover their representations that is why it is high time that bonafide members of marginalized groups will fight for their rights to be the ones to head their organizations instead of the rich and enterprising individuals wanting to use the party-list groups for their own personal and business interests.
According to him, party-list groups can still petition the high tribunal to reopen the case on their representations and assert the right of bonafide members to be the ones to represent their groups in Congress instead of allowing nan-marginalized individuals to be the ones to lead their groups and eventually become their representatives in Congress once they are able to win the required seats in the House when they are able to acquire the number of votes just to be able to land in Congress.