Wednesday ∗ 15 May 2013


my issue with this list of partylist organizations that are sure to get a seat in Congress at this point in time, is that it is so so easy to prove that they are not for or about the marginalized, and neither are most of these about some underrepresented sector.

late last year, when my friend Aries began being asked to endorse candidates for the election, i had done research on some of these partylists, and could quickly tell which ones shouldn’t even be allowed to run by Comelec. lo and behold, i see them on this list, and thank heavens Aries decided to do the Dapat Tama campaign of GMA instead.why? because look at this list!

it is utterly depressing to find that the number one organization on this list is Buhay — Buhay Hayaang Yumabong — Partylist, headed by Mike Velarde, that has as nominees his son and ex-Manila-Mayor Lito Atienza. on their site they say that they are an organization that

acknowledges the sanctity and value of human life as the most fundamental element of society and recognize the rights of individuals disadvantaged by age, sickness and disability. We implore the aid of the Divine Providence in order to advance their welfare, to the end that a just and humane society, defined by the truth, freedom, fairness, political stability, and due regard for human rights and dignity. Today, we value not only life but also our nature, people, country and God. We have advocates that stands for honest and good governance representing

juicekopo. eh ano ngayon? the partylist system is not about advocacies, is it? advocacy and charity work, premised on a framework of godliness, does not represent a minority at all. instead it is a way of viewing the world and how it must be run. there is no underrepresented sector here, and as such no sense in having this organization in Congress.

as there is no sense for an organization that is “incorporated” to run for a partylist seat, when this presumes to begin with the money to “be” corporation. A-Teacher is also known as Advocacy for Teacher Empowerment Through Action, Cooperation and Harmony Towards Educational Reforms, Inc. and yes, let’s get over the fact of a horrible name that already tells you how it is about “reform” and “harmony” and the strange thing called “cooperation” which for some reason deserves a seat in Congress.

look at what A-Teacher has done in the past. find that it has not taken a stand for our teachers and educators, and worse, it has pushed for things like mandatory kindergarten and the k to 12 basic education curriculum. that both of these have meant the oppression of our public school teachers, who are underpaid to begin with, are made to teach more students than they should, across grade levels, is A-Teacher’s undoing. it also begs the question who do they represent? when they talk about teacher empowerment. at the very least, we expect any teacher’s organization to call for across the board wage increase for all teachers, yes? no matter that they might represent private school teachers and educators.

to me, it is clear, that A-Teacher is using the name of the oppressed teacher. that’s like insulting the injured, yes?

ah, but there is nothing more fantastic than a partylist organization that represents consumers. yup, you heard it. 1-Care stands for Consumers Alliance for Rural Energy Inc., a partylist organization that

aims to empower, protect, promote, and advance the BASIC RIGHTS OF CONSUMERS in the availment of quality products/services. It includes consumers of energy in the form of utility services such as ELECTRICITY, WATER, TELEPHONE, and transportation.

obviously trying to justify its existence, 1-Care says that consumers are “massive in numbers <sic>” because they are “often at the mercy of providers / suppliers, hence, are basically marginalized.”

This is a common concern of the SILENT MILLIONS living outside Metropolitan Manila specifically from as far north as Batanes down south to Jolo. Sadly, consumers have no means to bring out their grievances nor sound off their plaints collectively. 1-CARE is born to champion the WELFARE of CONSUMERS – to put forth a collective legislative AGENDA that will reach out as one resounding VOICE. 1-CARE is for CONSUMERS Empowerment and Protection….. In UNITY, we shall PREVAIL!

never mind that this sounds wrong really, the fact that you have a seat in Congress being taken up by someone who seeks to protect consumers. no wait, it seeks only to protect member-consumers, so its FB page says, and as such one can only wonder how easily it must have been to prove membership, and how easy those promises were made to protect “you” if you’re “a member.” there is also this: if you look at what they did in their first term, you get a sinking feeling that 1-Care represents not the consumer but the electrical cooperatives in the provinces. so no, not Meralco, but certainly the bigger business of electricity elsewhere in the country.

but of course 1-Care denies this. and while Comelec was on the right track about disqualifying them, the Supreme Court has since pissed on the partylist and let 1-Care run, among many others disqualified by the Comelec.

ah, but such is how we have all pissed on the partylist, because we have not cared enough to discuss it at length, and the Supreme Court has chosen to imagine that it has matured enough as an institution that it can now evolve into “proportional representation” and not the representation of the marginalized and underrepresented. this is what it thought when it allowed 1-care and 51 other organization to run, even after Comelec had decided to disqualify them because they could not prove a “track record in the sectors that they claim to represent.”

my beef meanwhile is really this: these are but three of the many partylist organizations that got the higher votes in Monday’s elections. there is very little information on what it is that these organizations have done in Congress before; there is even less information on who their constituents are.

half the time for most these partylist organizations, common sense is all you need to find that they are undeserving of a seat in Congress. certainly allowing them to run is messing with the electorate. and certainly we can do better in three years time. and no, i don’t mean telling the electorate NOT to vote for these organizations; i mean disqualifying them from running altogether.

Comelec just needs to get its balls back. the Supreme Court, too.


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