AT LEAST eight party-list organizations will not likely make it in the first State of the Nation Address (Sona) of President Benigno Aquino III Monday, a poll official said Sunday.
These groups include Ako Bicol Political Party (AKO Bicol), Buhay Hayaan Yumabong (Buhay), First Consumers Alliance for Rural Energy (1-Care), Citizen's Battle Against Corruption (Cibac), LPG Marketers Association, Inc. (LPGMA), Ang Asosasyon Sang Mangunguma Nga Bisaya-Owa Mangunguma, Inc. (MBIS-OWA), Association Of Philippine Electric Cooperatives (Apec), and Alliance For Nationalism And Democracy (Anad).
"We tried. We all want them to be there. But we just can't," said Commission on Elections Spokesman James Jimenez.
The poll official explained that resolving the charges against the groups are not as easy as the poll body has to ensure there is due process.
"As much as possible, we want to finish it within the next few weeks. But you have to understand also that this is a quasi-judicial proceeding. What we will tell the parties is we are moving this as fast as we can," he added.
A total of the 57 seats at the Lower House allocated for party-list congressmen have yet to be completely filled-up as only 36 have been officially proclaimed by the Comelec sitting as the National Board of Canvassers (NBC).
Asked on when the cases could be resolved, he said it would be very difficult to speculate.
"Both sides will take advantage of every possible motion... the next thing you know, humaba na naman ang kaso mo. So it's very hard for us to predict and say, by tomorrow or by next week," Jimenez said.
Meanwhile, some 100 teachers of the Teachers Dignity Coalition (TDC) staged their own version of the State of the Nation Address (Sona) at Plaza Miranda in Quiapo Sunday.
In a statement, the TDC said the move was aimed at reminding President Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III who will be making his first ever Sona Monday, to include the teachers' welfare in his government agenda.
"We are hoping that the reforms in education sector that we ask for decades now will materialize under his administration," said Benjo Basas, national chairperson of the TDC.
The TDC earlier expressed reservation on the President's 10-Point Education Agenda, which they said is "generally responsive to the education sector's needs, but has no mention of teachers' rights and welfare."
Among the component of the President's agenda is adding two more years to the current 10-year basic education cycle, universal pre-schooling, upgrading of the Madaris education, technical-vocational education as an alternative in secondary schools, every child a reader by Grade 1, Science and Mathematics proficiency, assistance to private schools, rationalization of the medium of instruction, provision of quality textbooks and partnership with local government units to build more schools.
Basas said they are challenging Aquino to act on their own 10-point agenda for teachers and will anticipate good news from the president's speech.
The teachers challenge to Aquino has been done through singing of songs with altered lyrics in the tradition of "Harana" to please the bachelor president and win his heart. (FP/AH/Sunnex)