Saturday, September 19, 2009

'Sabungeros' clash at Comelec

'Sabungeros' clash at Comelec

By Sheila Crisostomo (The Philippine Star) Updated September 19, 2009 12:00 AM

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MANILA, Philippines - Two groups of cockfighting aficionados have elevated their rivalry to the Commission on Elections (Comelec) after one of them opposed the other’s petition for accreditation and registration as a party-list organization to join the 2010 polls.

In an urgent petition, the Alyansa ng Sabungero, founded by a certain Nid Anima, asked the Comelec to deny the application of the Adhikain ng Magmamanok whose president is Compostella Valley congressman Manuel “Way Kurat” Zamora.

Alyansa had also sought to be accredited and registered by the Comelec, claiming that it represents the marginalized sector of cockfighting workers like the kristo (bet taker), mananari (blade man), sentenciador (judge), casador (the one who evens the bets), largador (pitter), handler, utility people, small-time asentista, takilyero (the man at the cockpit entrance), chicken doctor and magbabalahibo ng manok (featherman), among others.

In the two-page petition, Anima said that Adhikain was established by Zamora who is already serving his third term as congressman, thus he is no longer allowed to run for district representation in next year’s election.

The petitioner added that the election law “is explicit about the tenure of a congressman, which is just three terms or one election and two re-elections or in total, nine years.”

“No member of the House of Representatives shall serve more than three consecutive terms. Granting arguendo, but without necessarily conceding that Adhikain ng Magmamanok gets accredited cum registered by the Comelec and Rep. Manuel Zamora as first nominee of the same party list gets elected, it would be an exercise in futility for both the Comelec and Rep. Manuel Zamora since such assumed election invariably defeats the letter and spirit of the law over which the same parties are not above,” the petitioner said.

Anima added that in trying to get Adhikain accredited and registered, Zamora “probably caters to the notion that party-list provides him a convenient avenue to circumvent the law.”

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