PRESS RELEASE: New SC ruling opens party-list system to rich and powerful -teachers’ solon

7 April 2013
Reference: ACT TEACHERS Party-List Representative Antonio Tinio (09209220817)

New SC ruling opens party-list system to rich and powerful -teachers’ solon

“A supreme error at the expense of the poor and underrepresented.”

ACT TEACHERS Party-List Representative Antonio Tinio slammed the Supreme Court (SC) which, in a decision issued on April 2 and published in its website yesterday, junked the requirements of representation and membership of party-lists and their nominees in marginalized sectors.

“Representation and membership in a marginalized sector are set by the Constitution and law, and it is beyond the SC’s limits to change, much less remove them,” Tinio said.  “The justices encroached into the power of the direct representatives of the people, especially the marginalized masses, to crowd them out of the tiny space allotted for them in Congress.”

Republic Act 7941 or the Party-List Act states that 20% of the Lower House must be made up of direct representatives of “marginalized and under-represented sectors, organizations and parties, and who lack well-defined political constituencies.”

The high court also allowed political parties to join in the party-list system so long as their “sectoral arm” registers with COMELEC, which ruling Tinio condemned as absurd and contrary to the language and spirit of RA 7941.

“The party-list system is a tool which gives some measure of an ‘equalizer’ in Congress for the poor and underrepresented,” said Tinio.  “The ruling effectively erases this equalizer and reinvents the system as a free-for-all for the rich and powerful to fully exploit, without anymore bothering to feign representation of the people they oppress.”

Tinio finally warned that the people will hold the justices accountable for giving the economic and political elite express permission to use the machinery of government to further push the poor and underrepresented into the margins. ###