Comelec allows 13 new party-lists to join polls

Sixto S. Brillantes Jr. COMELEC Chairman

The Commission on Elections (COMELEC) on Friday, November 16, allowed militant transport group Pinagkaisang Samahan ng Tsuper at Operator Nationwide (Piston) and 12 new party-list groups to participate in the 2013 party list race.

Sixto S. Brillantes, Jr. COMELEC Chairman

Citing a report of Inquirer Comelec Commissioner Sixtor Brillantes Jr. said the poll body approved the accreditation of the party-list groups Piston Land Transport Coalition (Piston), Aagapay sa Matatanda (Ama), Ating Agapay Sentrong Samahan ng mga Obrero Inc. (Aasenso). He did not reveal the names of the 10 other groups.

In a separate interview, Comelec Commissioner Rene Sarmiento said the Comelec approved the three groups’ application because they belong to the sectors they represent. Their sectors are also among the marginalized sectors enumerated in the Party-List Law, Sarmiento said. “Marginalization doesn’t necessarily mean purely economic,” he explained.

According to Rappler, the Comelec has disqualified 112 party list groups so far, some of which are perceived to be allied with former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. But the Comelec said it wants to erase perceptions that it is “yellow,” as when it disqualified another pro-Aquino group, the Black and White Political Party.