In an ideal world, the party list system would attract outstanding leaders from mass movements, civil society, nongovernmental organizations, advocacy groups, and parties of the poor and marginalized.
But we don’t live in an ideal world. Mainstream politicians, political dynasties and several administrations have since discovered the party list system as another way to seize power. They have thus infested the system of party lists, to the detriment of the real ones.
For example, Comelec has authorized party lists for small town lottery operators and for sabungero owners who apparently suffer greatly in our country.
Meanwhile, Comelec has disqualified lists from parties such as Medical Cannabis, Nurses United and LGBTQ Plus.
The entry of dubious party lists has taken the total number of party list votes to new heights. This is a problem because it means parties must have more votes than ever before to win a single seat. A party list wins based on its share of the party list’s total votes and relative to the top voters.
Love them or hate them, the Makabayan bloc of Bayan Muna, Anakpawis, Gabriela, ACT Teachers and Kabataan have been notable as party representatives. The anti-communists tried to smear them with fabricated accusations and disqualification cases, but they beat them all.
The NTF-ELCAC did not mince words in its desire to get rid of it.
Two years prior, Anakpawis chairman and peacemaker Randall Echanis died a gruesome death in a midnight attack on his home that occurred amid a total lockdown.
After the start of the campaign, Anakpawis’ candidate, Isabelo Adviento, was arrested.
Several party groups and senatorial candidates identified with the administration targeted Makabayan from the outset, linking them to the CPP-NPA-NDF, the oft-repeated accusation that has always been dismissed by the courts.
Lorraine Badoy and Antonio Parlade entered the race, trying to force presidential candidates to denounce or walk away from Makabayan.
In one of his shining moments in this campaign, Isko Moreno condemned the NTF-ELCAC for setting up tarps in the city denouncing the Makabayan bloc and the CPP-NPA-NDF. Moreno said everyone should be welcome in Manila and participate in national elections.
Manny Pacquiao knows Makabayan more than the NTF-ELCAC. During his first term as a congressman, Pacquiao proudly stood alongside the venerable Crispin Beltran to support the Makabayan bill for a legislated ₱125 wage hike for workers nationwide.
In the case of Vice President Leni Robredo, it was a little different. She had Antonio Trillanes and John Nery to red-mark and unnecessarily divide what had always been broad opposition.
In the end, Nery’s rant against Makabayan turned out to be wrong. Makabayan endorsed Robredo. The Kilusang Mayo Uno broke tradition by endorsing Robredo and Pangilinan, a first in its history. 1Sambayan also included Neri Colmenares and Elmer Labog in their senatorial roster alongside Robredo. But perhaps not thanks to Nery, Trillanes and other anti-Communist and military minds in the countryside who knowingly or unknowingly allowed the NTF-ELCAC, the reverse happened: Robredo did not supported Makabayan.
Abroad, the NTF-ELCAC has taken advantage of embassies, consulates, and social climbers of some OFW organizations to promote state-backed party lists.
On May 8, the day before the elections, false information about the alleged disqualification of Colmenares and all members of the Makabayan party circulated.
Thus, on polling day, the stage was set for the total defeat of Makabayan and other genuine supporters. The party list seats would instead go to dubious parties which, according to Kontra Daya’s survey, are mostly tied to the administration, traditional politicians, political dynasties, big business and big landowners.
While we monitor canvassing and demand an investigation into Election Day anomalies, the results in themselves show that voters gave a total of more than nine million votes to Makabayan candidates Colmenares and Labog, and Makabayan party lists. . That’s the most votes they’ve received since 2001, greater than the total votes of many presidential candidates. It is a strong mandate to be an opposing force against tyranny, corruption and incompetence.
As of now, the results show voters spoiling NTF-ELCAC’s erotic dreams. Voters challenged many to re-elect Gabriela Women’s Partylist with Representative Arlene Brosas, ACT Teachers Party with Representative France Castro and Kabataan Partylist with alleged Representative Raoul Manuel.
Sorry, red taggers. Makabayan will be there to rock the House.
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