2010 Elections: Party-list Groups, Representatives of the Marginalized

When Bayan Muna first joined the 2001 elections, it topped the party-list elections and got three seats. It was also the top party-list group in 2004 and the second highest in 2007.

In this year’s election the party’s nominees are Teddy Casino, Neri Javier Colmenares, Hobel Laura, a lawyer from Bicol, Caloy Sarate from Davao, and a representative from Samar, while its president Satur Ocampo will run as guest candidate for senator of the Nacionalista Party, together with GWP’s Liza Maza.

Bacatan assures that, “win or lose the advocacies of Bayan Muna wil continue, that is to check, to stop, and to expose the unfair and anti-people policies of the government.”

Anakpawis Party-list

(Photo courtesy of www.anakpawis.net)

Founded in June 23, 2002, Anakpawis also called as the ‘Toiling Masses Partylist’ is a national political party that seeks to help the marginalized and oppressed sectors of Philippine society. It aims to work for: workers’ right to just and decent wages and humane working conditions; peasants’ right to the land they till; fisherfolks’ right to develop the marine system for livelihood; families’ right to a decent shelter; women’s rights against discrimination and to participate in the economic, social and cultural spheres; children’s right to education and protection against exploitation and; freedom from foreign domination.

In 2004, Anakpawis gained 538,396 votes (4.2320% of the total party-list votes), giving them two seats. Its representatives were Rafael Mariano, a peasant leader and, Crispin Beltran, former president of the Yellow Taxi Drivers’ Union and the Amalgamated Taxi Drivers Federation and former chair of Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU). In 2007, Anakpawis initially won a seat with Mariano as representative, but after the Supreme Court junked the Panganiban formula to ensure that the 55 seats allotted for party-list groups be occupied, Joel Maglunsod, also a labor leader, filled the additional seat given to it.

True to its aim, Anakpawis, its representatives have focused on bills that provide immediate relief and that pursue the long-term interests of the toiling masses. Its representatives authored House Bill 345 and lobbied for Senate Bill 2497, which seeks to mandate a P125 ($2.55, based on an exchange rate of P49.015 per US dollar) daily wage increase for workers nationwide. This bill passed three readings during the 14th Congress before being blocked by Malacañang and relegated back to the committee that passed it. Some bills authored by Mariano were House Bill 01962 or an act providing for a P3000 across-the-board increase in the monthly wage and salary rates of employees and workers in the public sector, House Bill 50895, which seeks to merge labor and social laws to provide aid to workers, and House Bill 6808 or an “An act instituting an economic stimulus and rehabilitation program for small producers and entrepreneurs.”

Anakpawis also authored the Genuine Agrarian Reform Bill (GARB) also known as House Bill 3059, which the late Crispin Beltran filed during the 14th Congress. The GARB aims to fully distribute all agricultural lands to Filipino farmers in order to end feudal exploitation to lay the ground for national industrialization. Some bills passed relating to agricultural concerns were House Bill 07002 or “An act promoting the welfare of farm workers, farmers and small landowners in contract growing and for other purposes,” House Bill 01725 or “An act declaring January 22 as national farmer’s day,” “ A resolution directing the House Committee on Agrarian Reform to conduct an investigation on the sale of emancipation patents in Barangay Mamatid, Cabuyao, Laguna to dubious real estate companies resulting in the deprivation and displacement of farmers who were named beneficiaries and directing the said committee to come up with a report of its findings and recommendations to resolve the issue in favor of the farmers” or House Resolution 01057.

On education, the bills passed by Anakpawis were House Bill 05476 or “An act declaring October 5 of every year as “national teacher’s day”, House Bill 04734 or “An act providing for additional compensation for public school teachers,” House Bill 1138 or “An act that seeks to adopt Filipino as the medium of instruction,” House Bill 01136 or “an act that informs and educates the children on the lives, sacrifices and heroism of Filipino comfort women during the Japanese occupation.” Their inclusion in history books would give due recognition to the courageous struggles of these women the lives and heroism of Filipino comfort women during the Japanese occupation.

On taxes, Anakpawis supported House Bill 05682 or “An act removing the documentary stamp tax on all remittances from Filipinos abroad, repealing for the purpose section 181 of Republic Act no. 8424, otherwise known as the “Tax Reform Act of 1997”.

On human rights, it pushed for House Bill 05600 or “An act defining certain rights of human rights defenders and providing penalties for violations,” House Bill 04927 or “An act prohibiting and penalizing the deputization of any unit of the Armed Forces of the Philippines or any of its para-military groups for law enforcement duties in labor and agrarian disputes,” House Bill 04928 or “An act requiring military and police personnel to obtain a human rights clearance as a condition precedent for the validity of their promotion or appointment to a higher rank, position or office,” House Bill 03259 or “an act punishing military commanders or superiors for crimes or offenses committed by their subordinates under the principle of command responsibility,” House Bill 04369 or “an act providing for a system of recognizance as a mode for obtaining release from detention, appropriating funds, House Bill 05886 or “An act defining and penalizing the crime of enforced or involuntary disappearance and for other purposes, House Resolution 00988 or “ A resolution directing the committee on human rights to conduct an inquiry, in aid of legislation, into the killing of Nelson Malit, coordinator of Anakpawis party-list in Pampanga and a staff member of Alyansa ng Magbubukid sa Gitnang Luzon (AMGL), allegedly by an element of the military,” House Resolution 00991 or “A resolution directing the committee on human rights to conduct an inquiry, in aid of legislation, into the killing of Fernando Sarmiento, allegedly by an element of the military,” House Resolution 01001 or “A resolution directing the committee on human rights to conduct an inquiry, in aid of legislation, into the abduction and continued detention of Felicidad Caparal, a staff member of Unyon ng Manggagawa sa Agrikultura (UMA) allegedly by members of the military.”

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