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Wednesday, November 25, 2009

'Comelec, repressing the rights of marginalized sectors'

With four days left before the start of the period of filing of
manifestations of intent to participate in the 2010 party-list
elections, a sectoral party of overseas Filipinos and their families
has castigated the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) for its
"conscious effort to marginalize the already marginalized sectors in
our society."

"There seems to be a conscious and orchestrated effort from the ruling
regime - through the COMELEC - to deny genuine organizations such as
Migrante Sectoral Party (MSP), their right for representation in
Congress," said Connie Bragas-Regalado, MSP Chairperson.

Regalado noted that the COMELEC appears to be more concerned in
keeping the 2010 ballot as short as possible rather than its duty to
empower marginalized sectors through the Partylist law. "One need only
read their unfounded, downright illegal and outrageous resolutions
lately to realize how the COMELEC is so bent on turning away as many
organizations as it can for the 2010 elections. And, quite
unsurprisingly, those who are highly critical of the regime such as
Migrante was the first ones to get the boot from the COMELEC," she

Recently, the COMELEC has removed Migrante from the list of qualified
contenders for the 2010 partylist elections. The move from the poll
body was widely criticized by Migrante as well as various OFW groups
worldwide saying that the COMELEC denied the group their day in court.
"The gravity of this COMELEC decision delisting Migrante can not be
over emphasized," said Regalado.

"Not only did the COMELEC denied Migrante its right to due process; it
has, in essence, deprived the over ten million overseas Filipinos and
their families of their much deserved right to genuine sectoral
representation," she said.

Regalado said her group is gearing up to challenge the COMELEC ruling
by elevating their case to the Supreme Court. Protest actions against
Migrante's deletion are also heating up inside and outside the

Just last week, the COMELEC stirred up a hornets nest for throwing out
the petition for accreditation of gay group, Ang Ladlad Partylist.
Citing verses from the Bible and the Koran, the COMELEC said Ang
Ladlad's "petition must fail" because the group is allegedly
"advocating immoral doctrines" and in order to "protect the youth from
moral and spiritual degradation."

The COMELEC also denied Samahang Magdalo's petition for accreditation
as Political Party saying that their leaders and members remain
"unrepentant" and still "harbor the propensity to engage in another
illegal adventure" similar to the so-called Oakwood mutiny.###

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