By JONAS ALPASAN
MANILA — The Commission on Elections (Comelec) retracted its earlier statement that it would not include party-list groups facing disqualification cases from being proclaimed today, March 26.
Last year, the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict filed disqualification cases against Kabataan Partylist and Gabriela Women’s Party. This amid the rampant red-tagging that the government’s counterinsurgency arm has been doing.
“They are desperate because they fear critical, proactive, and brave youth leaders in power who can threaten their corrupt interests. Their budget for senseless redtagging is put in danger of being rechanneled to relevant programs and social services for the people if Kabataan Partylist is present in Congress,” a unity statement signed by over a hundred youth organizations read.
The government’s counterinsurgency arm, the unity statement added, is not only attacking the Filipino youth but also the integrity of the elections and the nation itself.
Progressive party-lists held a social media rally yesterday amid initial Comelec pronouncements that they would not be included in the proclamation of winners.
Get to know the nominees of Kabataan Partylist here:
Kabataan Partylist and youth representation under the Duterte presidency
Raoul Manuel and his choice to continue serving the Filipino youth
Youth activist Angelica Galimba offers her voice for the indigenous peoples
Student leader Jandeil Roperos wants free, accessible education
Read Bulatlat’s features on Gabriela Women’s Party’s nominees:
How a women’s rights advocate-lawmaker walked the talk of defending women, children
A doctor and environmentalist rises to fight for equitable health system
Lucia Francisco, a hardworking woman community organizer
Only three progressive party-lists made it to this year’s winning seats. In an earlier Bulatlat report, initial canvassing revealed that the party-list system remains a backdoor for political clans.
Read: In 2022 poll, party-lists still ‘backdoor’ for political dynasties
Read: How did re-electionist party-lists vote on important bills?
In a statement, progressive ACT Teachers Party-List said that, along with Kabataan and Gabriela Women’s Party, it will continue to be voices of “dissent in a chamber that will most likely be a rubber stamp of the incoming administration.”