Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Are there that many marginalized people out there? Even cockpit workers want a say


Are there that many marginalized people out there?
Even cockpit workers want a say

SWAMPED with a total of 264 groups that had applied as of yesterday for party-list accreditation in the 2010 polls, Commission on Elections chairman Jose Melo yesterday said he believed the system has been abused.

Melo said it is ridiculous that the number of new party-list applicants in the Comelec roster had ballooned to 264 as of 4 p.m. yesterday, the last day of filing for accreditation.

"It seems that each and every small group is filing. It is already impractical," Melo said.

Comelec Commissioner Rene Sarmiento said they will be screening tightly which organization would be accredited, but added the Comelec would welcome oppositors to the applicants.

He said that among the possible reasons for the denial of accreditation include the lack of track record and/or constituencies or if the applicants were found to be funded by religious organizations, government agencies and foreign groups.

Melo had earlier expressed his desire to limit the number of party list groups to about 50 to 70 as this would be reasonable and manageable by Comelec.

Melo cited as one difficult problem the Comelec would face would be the length of the pre-printed ballots to be used by the Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS) voting machines.

"What would happen now? Would we print it in microscopic fonts (so that it will fit into the ballots? " Melo said.

A group of cockpit workers was among the last-day filers. Listing up as Alyansang Sabungero, the group said they represent workers in the cockfight industry composed of kristos, asehistas, mananaris, match-makers and takilyadors.

"We lead a hand-to-mouth existence earning only if the tahor they are working for wins and earns. If they don’t win, there would be no source of income," said the ParaƱaque-based group. – Gerard Naval

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