Left-leaning party-list groups lose hold in 2019 polls

Left-leaning groups that once dominated the party-list race fell back in the 2019 mid-term polls, giving way to the Tulfo brothers-backed Anti-Crime and Terrorism through Community Involvement and Support (ACT-CIS) to rise on top.

As of 4:53 a.m. Saturday, at least 98.05 percent of election returns were already transmitted from precincts and ACT-CIS leads the pack with 2,605,809 votes.

The group’s nominees are Eric Yap, Jocelyn Tulfo — wife of Raffy, Erwin’s brother, and Rowena Niña Taduran.

Partial and unofficial results from the Commission on Elections (Comelec) transparency server also showed that progressive groups who were consistently on a high vote in the previous elections dropped significantly this year compared to 2016.

The progressive groups that are mostly part of the Makabayan bloc are the following with their corresponding number of votes, as of this posting Friday:

Gabriela – from 1,367,795 votes in 2016 to only 444,635 in 2019;

ACT Teachers – from 1,180,752 votes in 2016 to only 392,674 votes in 2019;

Kabataan – from 300,420 votes in 2016 to only 194,745 votes in 2019;

Anakpawis – from 367,376 votes in 2016 to only 145,771 votes in 2019;

Gabriela, ACT Teachers, and Kabataan lost voters, except for their ally Bayan Muna that almost doubled in 2019 at 1,107,134 from only 604,566 in the previous polls.

The Makabayan bloc’s low ratings can reportedly be attributed to communist leader Jose Maria Sison’s video disclosing that they are the legal fronts of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) and are essential to the continued survival of the rebellious group.

In an earlier interview, Major Gen. Antonio Parlade, Jr., AFP Deputy Chief of Staff for Civil-Military Operations, said the video is a proof of Bayan Muna and Makabayan bloc’s link with communists.

He said left-leaning party-list groups at the House of Representatives cannot deny being front organizations of the CPP-NPA because Sison himself named them as his progressive allies in his video and their groups’ names in revolutionary websites.

“Ito rin ang patuloy na sinasabi ni Jose Maria Sison tungkol sa kanyang mga ‘progresibong kaalyado na makikita natin lahat sa International League of Peoples Struggle (ILPS) at rebolusyonaryong website (This is also mentioned by Jose Maria Sison about his progressive allies we see in International League of Peoples Struggles and in revolutionary websites),” he added.

The public was also urged not to support party-list groups allied with communist rebels, as President Rodrigo R. Duterte ordered government troops to “destroy” the decades-old insurgency.

In this year’s polls, there are 134 party-list groups vying for the 59 seats in the House of Representatives (HOR).

Out of a total of 181 party-lists which registered for this year’s mid-term polls, 47 got disqualified.

A group needs to get at least 2 percent of the total party-list votes to earn a seat at the HOR. What remains of the 59 seats will then be distributed among party-list groups that got more than 2 percent.

As of current tally, party-list groups that obtained the 2-percent vote threshold to get a seat in Congress are ACT-CIS with 2,605,809 or 9.45 percent; BAYAN MUNA with 1,108,199 or 4.02 percent; AKO BICOL with 1,046,186 or 3.79 percent; CIBAC with 923,734 or 3.35 percent; ANG PROBINSYANO with 765,343 or 2.78 percent; 1-PACMAN with 709,868 or 2.57%; MARINO with 675,829 or 2.45 percent; and PROBINSYANO AKO with 627,533 or 2.28 percent.

The party-list system, which was implemented in 1995, through the Party-list System Act (Republic Act No. 7941), aims to give marginalized and underrepresented sectors a voice in Congress. (PNA)