Palace leaves to Comelec decision on partylist nominees’ qualifications

By Argyll Cyrus Geducos

Malacañang said that it will be up to the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to review the qualifications for partylist nominees after President Duterte claimed that partylists are being exploited by the rich people.

In his Thursday press briefing, Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo said that Duterte may be thinking of pushing for the abolition of partylists, or want their representatives to truly be from the marginalized sectors.

Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo (OPS / MANILA BULLETIN)
Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo (OPS / MANILA BULLETIN)

Baka papunta roon (abolition) kung ganiyan ang sentimento niya, or gusto niya na yung nagre-represent coming from that sector (Maybe he wants it abolished if that is his sentiment, or he wants the representative to really come from that sector),” he said.

According to Panelo, it is now up to the Comelec to act on Duterte’s suggestion.

“Actually, nasa ano ‘yan eh, nasa Comelec. Sila ang nagka-qualify ng mga nominees, eh (It’s now up to the Comelec since they’re the ones checking the qualifications of the nominees),” he said.

“He’s expressing an idea, that’s for the Comelec to respond to it,” he added.

In a speech late Wednesday, Duterte lamented the supposed use of the party-list system by millionaires to get a seat in Congress. He said the rich people are undermining the original goal of partylists to represent marginalized sectors.

“This partylist [system], that’s one evil,” Duterte said in a speech in Cagayan de Oro Wednesday night.

“The rich people fund the partylists. They are named after laborers but the people behind it are the millionaires. So they stay in power there,” he added.

According the law, 20 percent of the seats in the House of Representatives should come from the ranks of partylists.