Lawmaker questions Comelec decision on party-lists' random listing-A A +A
Wednesday, June 20, 2012
MANILA – A progressive legislator wants to question the decision of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to randomly list party-list groups in the ballots to be used for the 2013 midterm elections.
"We are not even sure if the least would truly be random. Some party-lists may even bribe some Comelec officials so that they will come first on the list. This decision must be questioned before the Supreme Court," Bayan Muna Representative Neri Colmenares said as he expressed apprehension on the plan.
The Comelec recently announced that it will use a raffle drum or tambiolo and numbered balls to determine the order of accredited party-list groups’ listing in ballots for the 2013 polls.
The raffle will be conducted at 1:30 p.m. on December 14 at the Comelec Session Hall, Palacio del Gobernador Building in Intramuros, Manila.
In a text message, Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez said Colmenares should also consider that the poll body's move will "ultimately contribute to the political maturation of voters."
"While no one can prevent concerned individuals from seeking recourse to the Supreme Court, I think it would be good to remember that no one will be disadvantaged by this move," Jimenez said.
Colmenares, meanwhile, pointed out further that randomly listing the party-list groups running in the coming elections would make it more chaotic and time-consuming.
"We do not support this move because this will clog up precincts due to the fact that it will take more time for voters to look for their party-lists. And if they do not find it or have a hard time doing so, they may just forego voting for party-lists which would lead to their disenfranchisement," he said.
DIWA party-list Representative Emmeline Aglipay and Citizens Battle Against Corruption or Cibac party-list Sherwin Tugna echoed the same sentiment, saying the Comelec should first study whether its decision would benefit the voters.
Alagad party-list Representative Rodante Marcoleta, for his part, supported the poll body's decision.
"The resolution is fair and just. However, the Comelec should invest more in educating the voters on the party-list system so that no matter what listing order is adopted, the voter would still be guided on which party he should vote and why," he added. (Kathrina Alvarez/Sunnex)