Party-list group hits poll body on disqualification

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Tuesday, October 16, 2012

TRANSPORT groups held a protest in front of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) Misamis Oriental office Monday to decry the disqualification of their application for accreditation as a party-list.

Comelec Manila disqualified 1-Alliance of the Public Transport Organization (1-APTO) as party-list due to “insufficient proof of numbers to represent.”

The Comelec said 1-APTO is “not truly a marginalize sector.”

OCTOBER 16.2012
CAGAYAN DE ORO. Officers and members of 1-Alliance of the Public Transport Organization (1-APTO) show off their disgust over the disqualification of their group as an accredited party-list by holding a protest at the provincial office of the Commission on Elections Monday. (Joey P. Nacalaban)


Paul Cempron, Mindanao area coordinator of 1-APTO, along with around 40 members of the group, went to the Comelec office and talked with Provincial Election Supervisor lawyer Carlito Ravelo to seek clarification about their disqualification.

“This move is a simultaneous activity from Cagayan de Oro, Tuguegarao City, Cagayan Valley toward General Santos to show to the government and whoever concerned government authorities that we are really a marginalized sector nationwide,” Cempron said.

He said 1-APTO represents the marginalized transport sector composed of motorela, habal-habal, motorized and ‘trisikad’ drivers.

Cempron said based on Northern Mindanao’s statistical data last year, 1-APTO have almost 16,000 members, which later grew to 29,000. In the entire Philippines, it already has 1.3 million members.

Cempron said 1-APTO has been registered at the Securities and Exchange Commission for more than two years.

He added they have even presented their Constitution and By-Laws to their members in remote areas to show that their organization is real.

“Though I believed there are some requirements that are not yet complied but we are optimistic we will be accredited because there is no reason that we will be denied,” Cempron added.

For his part, Ravelo clarified that the Comelec Provincial Office has nothing to do with the complaint following the new ruling of the Supreme Court on party-list accreditation.

He said with the new system implemented, a party-list whose accreditation is denied by Comelec may now file their petition before the Supreme Court.

He said there are several party-lists that have been disqualified even those with representatives already sitting in Congress.

But Ravelo said 1-APTO may “still have the chance and will automatically participate in the May 2013 elections if they can comply with the requirements needed before December.”

Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on October 16, 2012.

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