Media Urged to Report Partylist Vote Count

May. 15, 2007

MANILA — Bayan Muna, the leading partylist group in the Philippines, today urged the media to include partylist votes in their unofficial and independent quick counts, citing “almost zero coverage” for these groups.

“We are deeply concerned over the lack and shortage of information on the partylist elections. Such a situation serves the purposes of those who seek to subvert the partylist system and deny victory for winning partylist groups,” said House Deputy Minority Leader and Bayan Muna president Satur Ocampo.

According to Ocampo, “public interest had been generated by media reports over the partylist race prior to the May 14 elections,” referring to the harassment against so-called leftist partylists and the fielding of pro-Malacaang groups.

“I urge colleagues in the media to give due importance to partylist representatives who are elected nationally,” said Ocampo, a former business editor of the pre-martial law Manila Times and former vice president of the National Press Club.

Ocampo cited the absence of unofficial counts of partylist votes in the competing coverages of two major media networks. “More than 18 hours after polls closed, the media has yet to report on the votes cast for any and all partylist groups.”

“Even the Namfrel ignored the partylist race, leaving the public blind,” said Ocampo.

“The media should reconsider the seeming exclusion of the partylist race in their coverage plans. The underrepresented and marginalized sectors which the partylist system hopes to represent must be provided timely and accurate information,” Ocampo said.

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