By Felix ’Boy’ Espineda, Jr.
The Partylist system earned a good beating after the results of the May 9, 2016 elections here in Sorsogon gleaming the results of voters preference to a partylist without asking oneself if it is a real participatory partylist which caters to the sectoral needs of its supposed representation. Money flowed as baggage fee to contending mayoralty positions and the governorship was not all spared. This is not new at all, for times count the chips in hundred thousand pesos and breach million marks if to secure a good voting percentage in Sorsogon.
Sad about this is the reality that the nominees don’t even know how to spell the word spade, shovel, don’t know what is a farm implement, and worst, don’t know the felt need of their supposed sector which they will represent in the seventeenth congress. Worst is for partylist nominees who opt to deliver their projects lateral to their private enterprises, especially in road openings, and cornering by their consortium of construction companies the downloaded project of their group.
Truthful and hurting that progressive groups which represent real marginalized sectors don’t have the balls to play the money game, or that of the other partylists which seek real representation of their sectors, but left out in the cold by their supposed clients because of a folded hundred peso bill attached to a sample ballot distributed by key candidates.
Worst also is the handiwork of the partylist goes to man who siphoned off campaign funds for his personal pleasure, disappearing during crunch time, and re-appearing two days after. The promise votes in coastal areas are gone, swallowed by the waves of lies and deceit. The funds were drowned by the erring sea.
Sadly, the voters have not changed. They are demanding from the real working partylist empowerment, yet they forget to support them by trading their votes to a peso- bill without regret.
Partylist representatives have a national constituency, they are but the senators of the House of Representatives. To secure one seat, they must have at least two percent of the total votes cast nationwide, a big ordeal compared to a district representative.
Among their ranks are the bogus and dynasty partylist, only few represent the sector which, time and again, deprived them also of their opportunity to serve them better.
Partylist representatives sometimes are considered second fiddle by government agencies because they are subservient to the district representations. Their projects are never attributed to them, instead agencies would attribute the same to a district
Representative, or a Senator without reviewing the information on how the funds of the project was included in the general appropriations act. This is the practice of public works.
They are cow-towing the asses of their district representatives. Oftentimes, keymen of district representatives would allocate unto themselves the funded projects of legitimate partylist without proper attributions to whom it should be, worst they announced as a campaign tool that this and so project is their bosses’ efforts. Shameless and devil-may- care attitude is the practice.
There are also nominees who have not gone to see a traditional Filipino farm, but dare accept the nomination to be a sectorial representative for the agricultural workers. There are also partylists which had been extinct, yet resurrected because it was bought by an interest group and nominating people who are spending most of their times in the comfort of their air-conditioned rooms. Others join because their terms have already expired, either in local politics or their district seats. In-laws, brothers, and sisters crowd the list, who they represent are, but their family interests.
Going back, the recently concluded elections reveal the immaturity of Sorsogon voters in choosing their partylist representative. [12May2016/BicolToday.com]