5 June 2012
Bayan Muna urges investigation on “Party list accreditation for sale” in Comelec
Bayan Muna Party List Representatives Teddy Casiño and Neri Colmenares filed yesterday House Resolution No. 2472 calling for a congressional investigation on reports of Comelec (Commission on Elections) officials asking for bribe money in exchange for accrediting party list groups. They also asked for the abolition of the PHP 10,000 (USD 230.67) docket fee needed to file a disqualification case against fake party list groups as it would only insulate fake party list groups from public scrutiny and challenge.
“Reports that Comelec officials are asking millions from party list applicants are making the rounds again now that the Comelec is about to decide on applications for registration. In fact this was publicly exposed by some party list groups in the previous elections and the National Bureau of Investigation has made some arrests. The Comelec however has failed to come up with concrete actions to stop this anomaly and that is why we are calling for a congressional investigation. We hope to warn Comelec officials attempting to sell accreditation to party list groups that the people are watching,” Colmenares, Vice-Chairman of the House Suffrage Committee, said.
“The fact that a party list group can afford millions for bribe money immediately shows that it does not belong to the poor and marginalized sectors. If we allow these fake party list groups to buy their accreditation, then it is just a matter of time that the party list system is completely ruled by the rich and the powerful who can afford to pay bribes and ease out genuine representatives of the people,” he added.
Bayan Muna also questioned the new Comelec rule requiring citizens who wish to expose a fake party list group to pay PHP 10,000 for filing a disqualification case.
“The Comelec should allow people participation in weeding out fake party list groups, and imposing this steep filing fee will only discourage well-meaning citizens from questioning party list groups created by political clans and multimillionaires,” Colmenares, who’s also a member of the Congressional Oversight Committee on the Automated Election System, added.
“Comelec can screen out those which are clearly harassment cases without necessarily imposing this steep docket fee. While well-meaning groups genuinely concerned with cleansing the party list system like Kontra Daya cannot afford the filing fee, those trying to file harassment cases can most likely afford this docket fee anyway,” ended Colmenares.
References: Bayan Muna Reps. Neri Colmenares
Teddy Casiño, 09209035683